During 43 years of RAF service the Jet Provost served with several different squadrons on the RAF and indeed Royal Navy pilot training syllabus as well as various RAF Station Flights.

A list of the Jet Provost Squadrons is listed below, in alphabetical order.
If there are any mistakes please let me know.

The Central Flying School (RAF Little Rissington/RAF Cranwell/RAF Leeming/RAF Scampton)
JP years: 1957-1991

As you would expect with a training aircraft, the Jet Provost has served significantly with the Central Flying School. It first inherited the type in 1955 when three Jet Provost T.1 aircraft arrived at Little Rissington for Phase A of RAF trials. Combined, they flew a 111 hour programme to evaluate the type as a possible RAF basic trainer, to formulate a possible training syllabus, and to train the first set of RAF instructors. The three aircraft were then transferred to 2FTS for the next stage of the trials, which ultimately went on to be a outstanding success. The CFS then received the seven surviving Mk.1s on November 19th 1957 and kept them until retirement in 1959.

The CFS received their first six Jet Provost T.3s on August 31st 1959, and two years later the first two T.4s arrived in November 1961. On September 4th 1969 XW287, the first production Jet Provost T.5, arrived at Little Rissington, and the T.4s were gradually phased out of service.
The CFS later received upgraded T.3As and T.5As, and slowly the remaining T.3 and T.5 variants were retired or transferred to other units.

During April 1976 the CFS moved to RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire, but it only stayed for 14 months when it moved again to RAF Leeming in Yorkshire. CFS remained at Leeming until 1984 when the station was closed in anticipation of becoming a RAF Tornado base, and they moved to RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire. It was here that the Jet Provost ended its association with the CFS with the type being gradually phased out of service from 1989, the T.3As went first followed by the T.5As.

1FTS (RAF Linton on Ouse)
JP years: 1960-1992

1FTS has been actively in service close to 50 consecutive years.
It's association with Jet Provosts began with Jet Provost T.3 XM468, which arrived at Linton-on-Ouse on 19th August 1960. Further examples were delivered, and they progressively replaced the existing DH Vampire fleet.

It received its first Jet Provost T.4, XP615, on 27th April 1962. During the early 1970's 1FTS was one of the very first Units to receive the Jet Provost T.5, and these replaced the near time expired Mk.4s. This variant was withdrawn from the Unit during the early 1980's but continued to use upgraded T.3A and T.5A's until retirement in 1992. The School is currently equipped with the Shorts Tucano but Linton-on-Ouse is guarded by former 1FTS Jet Provost T.3A XN589.

2FTS (RAF Hullavington/RAF Syerston)
JP years: 1955-1969

The first Flying Training School in the Royal Air Force to receive the Jet Provost was 2FTS based at RAF Hullavington.
The unit received three Jet Provost T.1s in August 1955 from the Central Flying School at Little Rissington for the next stage of the type's RAF trials. The first training course started immediately with 18 students being taught exclusive on the JP.
Before the end of 1955 the JP fleet had swelled to nine aircraft, and they were operated alongside their existing fleet of Piston Provosts. The trials proved the aircraft to be an excellent training tool, and at the completion the type had flown 2, 58 hours.
Two further courses were completed using the JPs, and following the final course  in November 1957 the surviving aircraft were transferred back to the CFS. 2FTS subsequently moved to RAF Syerston later that month

In November 1959 2FTS was selected to be the first Unit to receive the Jet Provost T.3, with the first example arriving June 26th 1959. By the spring of 1960 the Piston Provosts had been completely replaced.
The more powerful Mk.4 variant first arrived at Syerston in May 1961.

During early 1969 the RAF announced that 2FTS would close due to a reduction in the requirement for new pilots.
The Mk.3s were slowly transferred to other Units throughout the year, and the T.4s remained in service until the last course was completed on December 19th. The Unit then disbanded, but was reformed a month later as a rotary training school using Gazelle and Wessex helicopters.

3FTS (RAF Leeming/RAF Cranwell
JP years: 1961-1992

After being disbanded at RAF Feltwell in 1958 3FTS was reformed in September 1961 as a Jet Provost T.3 Unit based at RAF Leeming. It served throughoutthe 1960s with T.3 and then later T.4 Jet Provost aircraft before the T.5s arrived in 1970.
In 1974 3FTS incorporated the Refresher Flying Squadron, that relocated from the College of Air Warfare based at Manby.

In September 1984 RAF Leeming was closed and 3FTS was officially wound down.
The aircraft were absorbed into the Central Flying School and made a move to RAF Scampton.
The Unit was resurrected during a short time at RAF Cranwell, again with T.3A and T.5A aircraft until the type retired from service in late 1991.

6FTS (RAF Acklington, and then at RAF Finningley)
JP years: 1961-1968, 1970-1993

6FTS received its first Jet Provost T.3 at RAF Acklington on August 4th 1961, and deliveries of the Mk.4 arrived in 1963.
However compared to other Units it's operational life was brief. During 1965 the RAF reduced its training requirements, and this led to 6FTS being disbanded. The run-down of the Unit began in October 1967, and was completed in May 1968.
However some of its Instructors and aircraft remained to participate in the RAF jubilee at Abingdon in June.
During its time operating the JP 6FTS had trained 1,058 pilots and logged over 100,000 flying hours, including 211hrs in one day!

A new Unit formed to train RAF navigators was formed on 1st May 1970 at RAF Finningley, and it took on the 6FTS nameplate.
It was equipped with Jet Provost T.3 and T.4 aircraft and also later received some T.5s. The Unit also operated the most recent variant of the JP - the T.5B, a navigational trainer complete with refitted tip-tanks.

The Unit was one of the last two Squadrons to retire the Jet Provost in 1993.

7FTS (RAF Church Fenton)
JP years: 1962-1966, 1979-1989

Like 3FTS mentioned above 7FTS was reformed to be a Jet Provost squadron. It received its first Mk.3 aircraft in March 1962 at Church Fenton, and the first course was began in April. During 1963 it received examples of the Mk.4.
Unfortunately 7FTS was a victim of RAF cut-backs, and was selected for disbandment.
The last course began in January, all the Mk.3s had left by June and some of the Mk.4s departed in July.
The final closure came on November 30th 1966, by which time 7FTS had trained 400 pilots to 'wings'standard.

The Unit was resurrected in 1979, again to operate the Jet Provost and again based at Church Fenton. T.3A and T.5A variants were operated in large numbers throughout the 1980's until retirement in 1989, when it became the first of the JP training schools to upgrade to the Shorts Tucano.

Royal Air Force College (RAF Cranwell)
JP years: 1963-1991

The Royal Air Force College at Cranwell was a prominent Jet Provost operator, receiving its first Mk.3 on Match 22nd 1962. A year later Jet Provost T.4s began to arrive, and in 1971 the Mk.5, the latter replacing the Mk.4s on a one to one basis.

During the mid-1970's the RAFC began to re-equip their JP fleet with modified T.3As and T.5As, and multiple examples of each variant remained in service until the JP was withdrawn from RAFC service in 1991, giving way to the Shorts Tucano. One of the RAFC's Jet Provost T.5A's was selected to be the new station gate guard after the type's retirement, and it remains on display today.

College of Air Warfare (RAF Manby)
JP Years: 1962-1974

Formed in July 1962 from the remnants of the Royal Air Force Flying College, the CAW eventually had a mixed fleet of Jet Provost T.3s and T.4s at their RAF Manby base until it disbanded on 1st April 1974.
The CAW was also home to the School of Refresher flying which is explained in more detail below.

School of Refresher Flying (RAF Manby/RAF Leeming/RAF Linton-on-Ouse)
JP years: 1964-1993

The School of Refresher Flying was formed in July 1962, as one element of the College of Air Warfare based at RAF Manby.
It's original fleet consisted of Jet Provost T.4s, but it later received some earlier Mk.3 variants as they became available. The School remained a part of the CAW until 1973 when it switched its allegiance to 3FTS at RAF Leeming.
During 1977, it was renamed the Refresher Flying Squadron and remained based at Leeming until 1984, when the Unit again moved. Its new home was RAF Church Fenton, where it was operated alongside the based 7FTS.
The School's association with the Jet Provost ended with 1FTS at RAF Linton-on-Ouse, when its aeroplanes were retired.

Central Air Traffic Control School (RAF Shawbury)
JP years: 1973-1989

The Central Air Traffic Control School was formed in February 1963 equipped with Piston Provosts and Vampires. It's association with the Jet Provost began in the mid-1970's when the Jet Provost T.4 arrived at RAF Shawbury, and the aircraft was used as live training tools for junior air traffic controllers. The CATCS were the last operators of the JP T.4, retiring their fleet in July 1989 when the School went back to computerised training.

Tactical Weapons Unit (RAF Brawdy)
JP years: 1975-1978

The Tactical Weapons Unit was formed at RAF Brawdy in 1974 as a result of 229OCU's disbandment at Chivenor.
The Unit, more famous for operating Hunter F6s, F6As and FGA.9s also had a few Jet Provost T.4s in their fleet, and they remained in service until the TWU was split in half in 1978, with 1TWU remaining at Brawdy and 2TWU at RAF Lossiemouth.

No.1 TWU (RAF Brawdy)
JP years: 1978-1990

1TWU absorbed the TWU's Jet Provost T.4s and eventually had four T.4 aeroplanes on strength; XP547, XR679, XS178 and XS219. The aircraft were camouflaged and used for the initial training of Army Forward Air Controllers. The Army officers were given air experience in them and the aircraft were used as 'ground attack' aircraft for the controllers' initial exercises. The last example was phased out in 1990.

[Return to top of page]