RAF BAE-146 CC.2/3
Exclusively operated out of RAF Northolt by 32 (The Royal) Squadron, the BAe 146 is primarily tasked in the Command Support Air Transport (CSAT) role.Two 146 variants are operational, the VIP-configured CC.Mk 2 and the Quick Change (QC) C.Mk 3, which can be rapidly converted between passenger and cargo configurations.
The CC2's primary role is the transport of senior government ministers and Ministry of Defence (MOD) personnel and, most famously, senior members of the Royal Family, although this work represents by far the minority of 32(TR) Sqn's tasking.If required, the 146's defensive aids suite (DAS) also offers government ministers and high-ranking military leaders protection during visits overseas where a risk to security is perceived.
Outside VIP work, the CC.Mk 2 has an operational role in-theatre, providing essential support to military commanders by moving personnel and smaller freight items.The type's presence also enables key face-to-face engagement between commanders and their personnel, coalition partners and host nation leadership representatives.
Purchased as a pair of ex-TNT 146-200QC aircraft in 2012, the C.Mk 3s entered service in 2013 after modifications, including the addition of a DAS, for RAF service.They have made a considerable contribution to tactical airlift capability, taking on missions that might otherwise have taken larger aircraft off their primary tasking.