The future of allied air power – The Royal Air Force


  1. Gladman, B.W.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research and Development Canada, Centre for Operational Research and Analysis, Ottawa ON (CAN)
The purpose of this Scientific Report is to inform discussions of capability and concept development within both the RCAF and CAF. This is the third in a series of reports written for the Commanding Officer of the Canadian Forces Aerospace Warfare Centre. The method adopted begins with an analysis of the policy and supporting strategy framework of, in this case, the United Kingdom (UK) to develop an understanding of the direction being given to its military on the areas of the world and threats against which it is to prepare. On the basis of this understanding of the key tenets of UK strategic thinking it is possible to identify those concepts and capabilities being developed to prepare the Royal Air Force (RAF) to meet those threats. The findings of this analysis are that the UK will, for its own geostrategic reasons, continue to develop the capabilities necessary to ensure it remains an indispensable ally to the world’s dominant naval and air power. The institutional change those capabilities are forcing on the RAF are an example of what the RCAF and CAF need to do to define a meaningful role for air and joint operations moving forward. Thus, this analysis of the UK experience could serve a range of functions within the Department of National Defence and the CAF, from focusing RCAF capability and concept development through to informing joint force development.

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Royal Air Force;RAF;future warfare;ISR;Intelligence;Surveillance;Reconnaissance;concept development;future air operating concept;National Security Strategy
Report Number
DRDC-RDDC-2017-R166 — Scientific Report
Date of publication
01 Nov 2017
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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