What is the Cost of Training RAF Pilots?


Below is an outline of the costs of training Royal Air Force (RAF) pilots in the UK Military Flying Training Service (UKMFTS).


The total cost of flying training for RAF pilots (which includes costs of the UKMFTS contract, and pay and support costs), prior to starting training on an operational aircraft, per trainee, for Financial Year 2021/2022 is as follows:

  • RAF Fast Jet (FJ): £5,362,085.
  • RAF Multi Engine (ME): £953,817.
  • RAF Rotary Wing (RW): £1,041,843.

The cost of training a FJ pilot is more than that of a ME or RW pilot due to several factors:

  • The cost model is comprehensive and models total costs rather than just UKMFTS contract costs.
  • The FJ pipeline has a third phase of training using the Hawk TMk2.
  • The Hawk aircraft support costs are greater than those of the aircraft used in the ME and RW pipelines, which are civil type aircraft adapted for military training use.
  • Further the Hawk burns significantly more fuel: a factor of approximately x2.75 than ME and x6.5 than RW aircraft.
  • The FJ pipeline is longer than the ME and RW pipeline, thereby accruing greater pay and support costs.
  • Please note that the operational conversion unit (OCU) element of training is the final phase of the flying training pipeline and not part of UKMFTS.


FOI 2022/10740 dated 03 October 2022.


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