You are here

Maximising the Utility of the British Army’s Combat Aviation

Jack Watling and Justin Bronk
Occasional Papers, 27 April 2021
Aerospace, Military Sciences, Equipment and Acquisitions, UK
This paper assesses the utility and viability of the British Army's combat aviation, and examines how it can remain survivable on the future battlefield.

It has been a persistent feature of modern conflict that armies find more uses for combat aviation than they have helicopters available. How militaries prioritise the employment of their aviation is therefore important, and that prioritisation must be supported by an appropriate structure of maintenance, planning and logistics. The British Army has recently reorganised its helicopter fleets, grouping them in the newly formed 1 Aviation Brigade. This is a significant transition. In the past, army aviation has been tasked with supporting other elements of the force. As an independent brigade, aviation units will be expected to plan and prosecute their own missions at scale.

This paper evaluates the merits of employing combat aviation as an independent manoeuvre formation, and assesses the impact of this change on the wider British Army.

BANNER IMAGE: An RAF CH-47 Chinook is pictured as the sun sets in the distance. Courtesy of UK Ministry of Defence / Open Government Licence.

Dr Jack Watling
Research Fellow, Land Warfare

Dr Jack Watling is Research Fellow for Land Warfare. Jack has recently conducted studies of deterrence against Russia, force... read more

Justin Bronk
Research Fellow, Airpower and Technology

Justin Bronk is the Research Fellow for Airpower and Technology in the Military Sciences team at RUSI. He is also Editor of the... read more

Support Rusi Research

Subscribe to our Newsletter