Mar 26, 2014

TriStar Retires After 30 Years Service with the RAF

The Lockheed TriStar has flown its last operational mission with the Royal Air Force bringing to an end 30 years of service.
On Monday 24th March two TriStar’s of 216 Squadron based at RAF Brize Norton flew an air-to-air refuelling mission over the North Sea.
During its service the TriStar, has formed the backbone of long range air transport and air-to-air refuelling, participating in nearly every British conflict since it was brought into service.
The fleet of nine aircraft were acquired as a direct result of the Falklands conflict and the need to provide support to forces in the South Atlantic and to bolster the air-to-air refuelling fleet.
In more recent times TriStars have provided air-to-air refuelling to fast jet aircraft operating over Afghanistan and Libya and provided the vital air bridge, transporting troops and cargo to Iraq and Afghanistan. Over a period of eight years 216 Sqn flew 1642 times to Afghanistan, carrying a quarter of a million passengers.
The remaining four TriStar aircraft will leave RAF Brize Norton for the final time on 25th March, when they will depart to Bruntingthorpe Airfield, Leics for disposal.

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