On Wednesday 31st August 2016, the final RAF Jaguars made their last movements under power. Turn ‘n’ Burn‘s Alan Kenny was there to witness history.
The RAF and 54(F) Squadron first received the SEPECAT Jaguar back in 1974. The cat was initially going to be an advanced jet trainer, but lack of strike aircraft meant that it was brought in as a light strike aircraft instead. It replaced the FGR.2 Phantom in the tactical reconnaissance, tactical strike and close air support roles. There were 165 RAF Jaguars on strength with 2, 6, 14, 16(R), 17, 20, 31, 54(F) and 226 OCU (Operational Conversion Unit) and were based in the UK at RAF Coltishall, RAF Lossiemouth, RAF Coningsby and in Germany at RAF Bruggen and RAF Laarbruch.
The jets were retired from active front-line service in April 2007 and were flown to RAF Cosford to be used as instructional airframes for fitters and engineers on 238 Squadron. They ran under their own power for nine years, with the final movement at the end of August 2016. The Jaguars will still be used for training, but will be towed instead of powered by the Adour engine.