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WEAPON SYSTEMS
OPERATOR
RAF Weapon Systems Operator (Crewman) leaning out of front door of Chinook helicopter
Currently recruiting
Aircraft Analysis & maths Travelling the world
PAY DURING INITIAL TRAINING (PHASE 1)
£18,600+
+ Benefits
PAY AFTER DIRECT ENTRANT SNCO COURSE
£37,711
+ Benefits
PAY AFTER SPECIALIST TRAINING
£46,377
£43,080 + NCA Pay £3297 + Benefits

As a Weapon Systems Operator you will manage the sensors and weapons of a particular aircraft during operational missions, whilst at the same time gathering intelligence and supporting forces on the ground.

 

What will you do?

Flying will be your life, whether you work in an air transport role or on-board reconnaissance aircraft. Following basic recruit training you’ll then focus in on a specialisation, where you could be:

 

  • Loading and restraining cargo
  • Managing troops
  • Operating cutting edge surveillance technology
  • Manning the defensive weapon systems
  • Manipulating complex sensor suites and communications equipment
  • Assisting in the operation of complex air mobility and support helicopter transport aircraft

You will be recruited on an initial 12 year contract as a Direct-Entry Senior Non-Commissioned Officer with opportunities to serve to age 60. You are free to break that commitment after serving 6 years after your first operational conversion unit (OCU). We hope you will stay, many do, enjoying the diverse, varied and exciting roles we have on offer for a full career.

Currently recruiting
Aircraft Analysis & maths Travelling the world
DAY RATES ARE DEPENDENT ON ROLE, RANK AND EXPERIENCE

As a Weapon Systems Operator you will manage the sensors and weapons of a particular aircraft during operational missions, whilst at the same time gathering intelligence and supporting forces on the ground.

 

What will you do?

Flying will be your life, whether you work in an air transport role or on-board reconnaissance aircraft. Following basic recruit training you’ll then focus in on a specialisation. Within this role you could be:

 

  • Loading and restraining cargo
  • Managing troops
  • Operating cutting edge surveillance technology
  • Manning the defensive weapon systems
  • Manipulating complex sensor suites and communications equipment
  • Assisting in the operation of complex air mobility and support helicopter transport aircraft
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Weapon Systems Operator (ISR) Acoustic
“I track, locate and identify submarines.” Find out more about the training Matthew received and what he gets up to in his role as a Weapon Systems Operator (ISR) Acoustic
Minimum education requirements
  • Have GCSEs at Grade C/4 or Scottish National 5 at Grade C in English Language, Maths and at least three other subjects.
RAF Weapon SystemsMission Systems Operator on RAF Voyager controlling mid-air refueling of fighter jet
Minimum education requirements
  • Have GCSEs at Grade C/4 or SNE at Grade 5 or SCE Standard Grades at Grade 2/SNE 5 in English and Maths and at least three other subjects.
RAF Weapon SystemsMission Systems Operator on RAF Voyager controlling mid-air refueling of fighter jet
Requirements
  • Be aged 17.5 - 28 years old (Must attest before 29th birthday)
  • You must be a citizen of the United Kingdom, or holder of dual UK/other nationality. (NB: Commonwealth (inc BOT) citizens can’t apply for WSOp or Linguist)
  • Pass the Computer Bases Aptitude Test (CBAT)
  • Pass the Officer and Aircrew Selection Centre (OASC)
  • Pass a Fitness test - Details below
  • Candidates must be able to swim - see details below

 

View all entry requirements >

RAF Weapon Systems Operator (Crewman) securing cargo in rear of Chinook helicopter aboard Navy aircraft carrier
Requirements
  • Be aged 18-54 Applicants must apply no later than age 54 and 9 months in order to attest before 55th birthday Ex-Regulars and specialist entrants may be considered on a case by case basis
  • Qualified ex-military personnel
  • You must be a citizen of the United Kingdom, or holder of dual UK/other nationality. (NB: Commonwealth (inc British Overseas Territories) citizens can’t apply for WSOp or Linguist)
  • Commit to 27 days per year
  • Pass a General Fitness Test

 

View all entry requirements >

RAF Weapon Systems Operator (Crewman) securing cargo in rear of Chinook helicopter aboard Navy aircraft carrier
ROLE
SPECIALISMS

The Weapon Systems Operator (WSOp) role is split into 4 main specialisms. After basic training, you will be streamed into one of these and your specialist training will be tailored to that role.

WSOp Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR)

As a WSOp (ISR) you will be responsible for the manipulation of complex sensor suites and communications equipment to derive tactical and strategic intelligence to support the war fighter and military commanders.

 

The ISR specialist roles of Land (LND), Electronic Warfare (EW), and Acoustic (ACO), are employed across the full range of RAF ISTAR platforms, and can be expected to be employed in tasks ranging from protecting the country from maritime threats to Control of the Air and myriad tasks in between.

 

Linguist (LG) interpret and analyse foreign language radio transmissions, playing a vital role in protecting the security of the UK and her allies, directly providing real-time intelligence support to the battlespace.

WSOp Multi-Engine (ME) Air Loadmaster (ALM)

As a WSOp (ME) ALM, you will be responsible for assisting in the safe operation of a large transport aircraft to ensure the effective delivery of freight and personnel in support of the war fighter and military commander’s intent.

 

This can be achieved by air-land or air-drop operations requiring you to lead in preparing the safe loading, transport, dispatch and delivery of your payload to achieve mission success.

WSOp Multi-Engine (ME) Mission Systems Operator (MSO)

As a WSOp (ME) MSO you will coordinate and control air-to-air refuelling activity on Voyager, managing the safe and timely provision of fuel to fast jets and other airborne assets on operations, whilst monitoring and supporting the air picture using sophisticated communication systems.

WSOp Rotary Wing (RW) Crewman (CMN)

As a WSOp (RW) CMN on the helicopter force you will be integral to a small crew that operates in demanding environments, providing direct support to battlefield operations, taking the fight to the enemy whilst having the versatility to support medical evacuation, humanitarian and peace support operations.

 

The role is physically demanding and rewarding because you will be relied upon within your crew to have a deep knowledge of aircraft systems and tactics whilst working very closely with all units and agencies to deliver on operations.

CAREER, TRAINING
& EDUCATION
At any level or position your personal success is vital to make us succeed too. We are dedicated to your future, as it is essential to ours. You will receive basic and specialist training in your field and we even provide the option to pay for your education. The experience you gain with the RAF will equip you to work at the top of your field, both in the UK and overseas.
01
Phase one training
Basic Recruit training
white stopwatch icon for duration 10 weeks
white map-pin icon for location RAF Halton
Your career will start with the Basic Recruit Training Course (BRTC) at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire.
02
Phase one training
Direct entry Sergeants training
white stopwatch icon for duration 8 weeks
white map-pin icon for location RAF Halton
Following Basic Recruit Training, prospective Weapon Systems Operators will complete the Direct Entrant Senior Non-Commissioned Officer (DE SNCO) Course.
03
Phase two training
WSOp Generic Foundation Training
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white map-pin icon for location RAF Cranwell
All WSOps except for Rotary will attend RAF Cranwell to complete a 10 week generic foundation package.
04
Phase two training
WSOp (ISR) foundation training
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If streamed (ISR) you will undergo a 14-week foundation phase at RAF Cranwell. This includes six weeks of flying.
05
Phase two training
WSOp (ISR) EW specialist training
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white map-pin icon for location RAF Cranwell
You will complete a 14 week Electronic Warfare course that will include Synthetic Training and a Flying Training phase at RAF Cranwell.
06
Phase two training
WSOP (ISR) ACO specialist training
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white map-pin icon for location RAF Cranwell
You will complete a 14 week Acoustic Analysis course that will include Synthetic Training.
07
Phase two training
WSOp (ISR) LND specialist training
white stopwatch icon for duration 14 weeks
white map-pin icon for location RAF Cranwell
You will complete a 14 week Land course that will include an Advanced Sensor phase and a seven-week Flying Training phase at RAF Cranwell. Seven weeks is spent with an outsourced contractor.
08
Phase two training
WSOp (RW) CMN specialist training
white stopwatch icon for duration 56 weeks
white map-pin icon for location RAF Shawbury
You will complete 56 weeks of training at RAF Shawbury. This will cover all aspects of the Rotary Wing Crewman role.
09
Phase two training
WSOP (ME) specialist training
white stopwatch icon for duration 31 weeks
white map-pin icon for location RAF Cranwell
You will complete a 31 week training package at RAF Cranwell.
10
First tour
Specialist training
white stopwatch icon for duration Ongoing
white map-pin icon for location As assigned
For your first two tours you will generally be posted to one aircraft type in the UK.
11
Your career prospects
Ongoing training
white stopwatch icon for duration Ongoing
white map-pin icon for location As assigned
You will join the RAF as an airman under an initial 12 year engagement.
12
Training and Education
Specialist training
white stopwatch icon for duration Ongoing
white map-pin icon for location As assigned
As your career progresses, we will continue to train you in new skills.
13
In-service degree
Specialist training
white stopwatch icon for duration Ongoing
white map-pin icon for location As assigned
An in-Service degree for RAF Weapon Systems Operators on completion of their flying training is currently being implemented.
14
Transferable skills
Ongoing development
white stopwatch icon for duration Ongoing
white map-pin icon for location As assigned
As your career progresses, we will continue to train, mentor and grow your skills in leadership, instructional and specialist areas.
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WHY JOIN
THE RAF?

Thanks to subsidised food, travel, accommodation and free gym you get more money in your pocket.

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Benefits icon for Rent from £75p/m
Rent from £75p/m
Benefits icon for Free gym
Free gym
Benefits icon for Subsidised food
Subsidised food
Benefits icon for Health care
Health care
Benefits icon for World travel
World travel
Benefits icon for Training
Training
WHY JOIN
THE RESERVES?

The skills you add to your arsenal won’t just prepare you for the RAF, they’ll prove valuable in your work and within the wider world.

 

During your time with us you might be called up to assist with our operations worldwide for up to six months during which you may be able to claim a pay award to cover your costs, and your employer’s too.

Benefits icon for Training
Training
Benefits icon for Free gym
Free gym
Benefits icon for Subsidised food
Subsidised food
Benefits icon for Paid pension
Paid pension
Benefits icon for Paid holiday
Paid holiday
COMMITMENT AND LOCATION

You will have to commit to 27 days per year for 12 years minimum.

Each year includes a 15-day block for general RAF training, and 12 separate days for extra training or exercises.

You might be deployed to a UK or overseas base for up to 6 months after the first year.

WHAT HAPPENS
AFTER APPLYING
Joining the RAF takes several steps. Below is an overview of the process. The purpose of this process is for us to gauge whether you’re the right person for the RAF and for you to show us all of your skills and experiences that have made you who you are.
1
Aptitude test
2
Selection interviews
3
Health assessment
4
Fitness test
5
OASC
6
Acceptance
7
Training
1
Aptitude test
Stage 1 of 7

The first step in the application process is a series of Computer Based Aptitude Tests (CBAT). These tests ensure we match the right candidate to the right role. They take place over one day at the Officers and Aircrew Selection Centre at the RAF College Cranwell in Lincolnshire, and measure your ability to perform specific tasks such as:

  • How well you respond physically to visual information
  • Your ability to interpret information in two dimensions and devise a three-dimensional solution
  • Your ability to complete several tasks simultaneously
  • Your natural abilities, including deductive reasoning, spatial reasoning, work rate and concentration, and verbal and numerical reasoning
2
Selection interviews
Stage 2 of 7

Here’s where we get to know you a little better. You’ll get to showcase your skills and experience, and we’ll answer any questions you have about joining us. Your interview will take place at a local AFCO and cover the following topics:

  • Family life
  • Education
  • Work experience
  • Special interests and hobbies
  • Interest in the RAF
  • Training
  • The role you’ve applied for
  • The RAF

You’ll be asked a series of standard questions, and you’ll be able to ask your own questions during the debrief afterwards.

3
Health assessment
Stage 3 of 7

You’re legally required to meet certain medical standards, and must pass an occupational health assessment to show you’re fit for military duty. As part of this assessment we will check your overall health, focusing on areas like hearing, eyesight and body mass index.

 

We’ll also investigate any past illnesses and screen for health issues that may prevent you from carrying out your role. Please refer to entry requirements below for more information about the health standards you’ll need to meet.

4
Fitness test
Stage 4 of 7

A good level of fitness is critical to joining the RAF, it’s also something that must be maintained throughout your career. You’ll need to complete a Pre-Joining Fitness Test (PJFC). This will take place at a local gym near to you, and includes a 2.4km run, push up test and a sit-up test.

 

The performance level you’ll need to meet differs by age and gender. Please refer to the entry requirements below for more information about the health standards you’ll need to meet. You can also find help, and a training plan, to assist you in your preparation here.

5
OASC
Stage 5 of 7

This will be your second visit to the Officers and Aircrew Selection Centre. OASC lasts one day, but you will arrive the day before. During this time the officers will be assessing your leadership, teamwork, communication, motivation, and problem solving.

 

The day will end with an interview. The first half of the interview covers your achievements at school and college, in sports, your community, at work, and as a cadet, scout or guide.

The second half explores your motivation for joining the RAF – what you know about current affairs and the RAF’s role in the national and international arena, current operations the RAF is involved in and your knowledge about the RAF and the role you've applied for.

 

6
Acceptance
Stage 6 of 7

Once you’ve successfully completed each phase of the application process you’ll be invited to a provisional offer of service interview at your nearest AFCO. This is to ensure that you understand the terms and conditions of service in the RAF, are fully committed to joining, and prepared to commence training.

7
Training
Stage 7 of 7

This starts with 10 weeks at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire. It will make you fitter and more confident. It will challenge you mentally and physically, and it will prepare you for your career with us. There are 6 phases:

  • Arrival - You’ll be sworn into the RAF and be given a service number
  • General Service training - You’ll learn about marching, drills, core values and our code of conduct
  • Initial Force Protection training - Fighting and survival in a military environment
  • Exercise Blue Warrior - 4 days in the field with real battle conditions
  • Force development training - Apply your skills in new environments with adventurous training activities
  • Graduation - Learn about what’s required in your first post and display your new skills

What next?
Now you’re a fully-fledged member of the RAF you can receive role specific training.

WHAT HAPPENS
AFTER APPLYING
Joining the RAF as a Reserve takes several steps. Below is an overview of the process. The purpose of this process is for us to gauge whether you’re the right person for the RAF and for you to show us all of your skills and experiences that have made you who you are.
1
Squadron information day
2
Selection interview
3
Health assessment
4
Fitness test
5
Acceptance
1
Squadron information day
Stage 1 of 5

The first step in the application process requires you to attend a squadron information day. This is a chance for you to visit the squadron of your choice and ask questions. You’ll get to see what life is like in the RAF Reserves and learn about the trade you’re interested in.

2
Selection interview
Stage 2 of 5

Here’s where we get to know you a little better. You’ll get to showcase your skills and experience, and we’ll answer any questions you have about joining us. Your interview will take place at a local AFCO and cover the following topics:

  • Family life
  • Education
  • Work experience
  • Special interests and hobbies
  • Interest in the RAF
  • Training
  • The role you’ve applied for
  • The RAF

You’ll be asked a series of standard questions, and you’ll be able to ask your own questions during the debrief afterwards. Some roles require a second interview and/ or test to determine your suitability. These are normally conducted over a 1-3 day period at an RAF base where you’ll be able to see, and experience, the kind of environment you’ll be working in. Details about which interviews are relevant for you will be provided during the application process.

3
Health assessment
Stage 3 of 5

You’re legally required to meet certain medical standards, and must pass an occupational health assessment to show you’re fit for military duty. As part of this assessment we will check your overall health, focusing on areas like hearing, eyesight and body mass index.

 

We’ll also investigate any past illnesses and screen for health issues that may prevent you from carrying out your role. Please refer to entry requirements below for more information about the health standards you’ll need to meet.

4
Fitness test
Stage 4 of 5

A good level of fitness is critical to joining the RAF, it’s also something that must be maintained throughout your career. You’ll need to complete a Pre-Joining Fitness Test (PJFC). This will take place at a local gym near to you, and includes a 2.4km run, push up test and a sit-up test.

 

The performance level you’ll need to meet differs by age and gender. Please refer to the entry requirements below for more information about the health standards you’ll need to meet. You can also find help, and a training plan, to assist you in your preparation here.

5
Acceptance
Stage 5 of 5

If you’ve successfully completed each phase of the application process, you will be invited to a provisional offer of service interview at your Squadron.

 

The purpose of this interview is to ensure you understand the terms and conditions of service in the RAF, are fully committed to joining, and prepared to commence training.

ENTRY
REQUIREMENTS

You must be between 17.5 and 28 years old. (Must attest before 29th birthday)

Applicants must also read all of the sections below and make sure they meet all entry requirements before submitting an application.

EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS
  GCSE pre 2017 GCSE 2017 and after Scottish National 5
Mathematics C Grade 4 C
English Language C Grade 4 C
Three other subjects C Grade 4 C

You can see what the RAF accepts in lieu of GCSEs & A Levels here.

NATIONALITY & RESIDENCY

You must be a citizen of the United Kingdom, or holder of dual UK/other nationality. (NB: Commonwealth (inc BOT) citizens can’t apply for WSOp or Linguist.)

Whether or not you were born in the UK, you should have resided there for the 5 years immediately preceding your application.

FITNESS REQUIREMENTS

You must be physically fit to complete both initial and specialist training, and to do your role effectively. To check your fitness levels, we put every candidate through at least two separate fitness tests as part of the application process.

The first of these is the Pre-Joining Fitness Test (PJFT) which takes place at a fitness centre local to you. This consists of the following:

  • 2.4km (1.5m) run on a treadmill (set to zero incline)
  • Achieve the required number of press-ups - within 60 seconds
  • Achieve the required number of sit-ups - within 60 seconds

The second fitness test will take place at RAF Halton at the start of Basic Recruit Training Course (BRTC):

  • Achieving the required score on the Multi-Stage Fitness Test (MSFT or Bleep test)
  • Achieve the required number of press-ups - within 60 seconds
  • Achieve the required number of sit-ups - within 60 seconds

How fit you need to be to pass these tests can vary depending on role, age and gender. The requirements are listed on the charts below (Male and Female).

MEN - 100% pass rates:
AGE 2.4 Km Run Multi-Stage Fitness Test Press-ups Sit-ups
  (Mins) (Score) (No.) (No.)
15-16 11.39 9.03 20 35
17-29 11.11 9.10 20 35
30-34 11.36 9.04 19 32
35-39 12 8.09 18 29
40-44 12.26 8.03 17 26

 

WOMEN - 100% pass rates:
AGE 2.4 Km Run Multi-Stage Fitness Test Press-ups Sit-ups
  (Mins) (Score) (No.) (No.)
15-16 13.54 6.07 10 32
17-29 13.23 7.02 10 32
30-34 13.47 6.08 9 29
35-39 14.13 6.04 8 26
40-44 14.48 5.08 7 23

You can see the protocols for Press Ups & Sit Ups here:

PJFT/PRTC Protocols

You can download an MP3 file of the Multi-Stage Fitness Test below, listen to the introduction file first:

RAF MSFT: Intro

RAF MSFT: Bleep Test

You can see a video demonstration of the PRTC Fitness Test here:

RAF PRTC Fitness Test

A 12-week fitness plan with detailed information to help you get ready for all of the fitness tests can be downloaded here.

To train as aircrew in the RAF, you must be able to pass the RAF Swimming Test as follows: Swim 100 meters without rest, using any front or sidestroke. Tread water for 2 minutes. Get out of the deep end of the pool unassisted, without the use of steps or the bottom of the pool.  All personnel attempting the test must wear clothing commensurate with that worn for their normal operating activity, which for aircrew is a flying suit.

RAF SWIMMING TEST

To train as aircrew in the RAF, you must be able to pass the RAF Swimming Test as follows: Swim 100 meters without rest, using any front or sidestroke. Tread water for 2 minutes. Get out of the deep end of the pool unassisted, without the use of steps or the bottom of the pool. 

 

All personnel attempting the test must wear clothing commensurate with that worn for their normal operating activity, which for aircrew is a flying suit.

HEALTH REQUIREMENTS

Candidates joining the RAF must be medically fully fit, both physically and psychologically, to meet the challenges of military service, during which they will be expected to deploy, potentially at short notice, to locations world-wide that are remote from established medical care. 

 

Certain medical conditions could preclude entry to the RAF. Further details can be found in this document. 

Before your application, please note that Body Mass Index Requirements are as follows: 

Age Male and female minimum Male and female maximum Male maximum with additional assessment Female maximum with additional assessment
18 + 18 30 32 32
16 to < 18 17 27 27 27

Calculate your BMI here 

 

Eyesight requirements vary for different roles. A requirement to wear glasses or contact lenses may be allowed for aircrew. 
 
If you are unsure about any health criteria, please continue your application and your eligibility will be assessed at the medical examination stage.  

 

During your application, the Medical Risk Assessment that all candidates undergo is there to make sure that you are healthy enough for the intense training required by the RAF. Your application will be rejected if you fail to meet the minimum acceptable medical standard for entry. Your medical history is confidential and is not disclosed to those not authorised to hold this information. 

BACKGROUND CHECKS

YOU MUST:

  • Declare any previous spent and unspent convictions
  • Check if you qualify under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 through this summary
  • Have a basic background check to get Security Check level clearance
DISQUALIFYING FACTORS

YOU CAN'T APPLY FOR THE RAF IF YOU:

  • Have been or are member of a group that stirs up racial hatred and violence
  • Are waiting to appear in court, or have unspent convictions. You may also have to declare spent convictions for certain roles
  • Misuse drugs, solvents and anabolic steroids. But each case is considered upon its own merits
  • Have tattoos, brands or bead implants that are obscene or offensive. 
    Any permanent or temporary tattoos, whether ordinarily visible or not, must not be obscene or offensive (eg, racist, anti-religion or belief, crude, overtly sexist, homophobic, drug related or of an extreme political nature). Tattoos may be worn on the side and back of the neck but tattoos on the back of the neck must not extend above the natural hairline (scalp tattoos are not permitted).
  • Have body piercing which causes holes that do not close up
  • Declare yourself to be an 'undischarged' bankrupt

Beard Policy:

A revised facial hair policy has been agreed by the Air Force Board which will allow serving personnel to wear a smart, neatly-trimmed, full-set beard whilst maintaining high standards of appearance. The length of acceptable beards is between Grade 1 (2.5mm) and Grade 8 (25.5mm).

The wearing of beards during Phase 1 and Phase 2 training is currently under consideration and details will be advised when available.

You must be aged 18-54 (Must attest before 55th birthday – Ex Regulars over the age of 55 may be considered on a case by case basis).

Applicants must also read all of the sections below and make sure they meet all entry requirements before submitting an application.

NATIONALITY AND RESIDENCE

You must be a citizen of the United Kingdom since birth and must not hold (and must never have held) any other nationality or citizenship (including joint nationality) with the exception of dual British Irish citizens.

EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS
  GCSE GCSE 2017 SNE
Mathematics C Grade 4 Grade 5
English Language C Grade 4 Grade 5
Three other subjects C Grade 4 Grade 5

You can see what the RAF accepts in lieu of GCSEs & A Levels here.

FITNESS REQUIREMENTS

You must be physically fit to complete both initial and specialist training, and to do your role effectively. To check your fitness levels, we put every candidate through a Pre-joining Fitness Test. 
How fit you need to be to pass this test can vary depending on role, age and gender.

 

MALES
Age Limits 2.4 Km Run (Minutes) Multi-Stage Fitness Test (Level) Press-ups (Number) Sit-ups (Number)
15-16 11.39 9.03 20 35
17-29 11.11 9.10 20 35
30-34 11.36 9.04 19 32
35-39 12.00 8.09 18 29
40-44 12.26 8.03 17 26
45-49 12.54 7.07 16 23
50-54 13.27 7.01 15 20
FEMALES
Age Limits 2.4 Km Run(Minutes) Multi-Stage Fitness Test (Level) Press-ups (Number) Sit-ups (Number)
15-16 13.54 6.07 10 32
17-29 13.23 7.02 10 32
30-34 13.47 6.08 9 29
35-39 14.13 6.04 8 26
40-44 14.48 5.08 7 23
45-49 15.19 5.04 6 20
50-54 15.53 4.09 5 17
RAF SWIMMING TEST

To train as aircrew in the RAF, you must be able to pass the RAF Swimming Test as follows: Swim 100 meters without rest, using any front or sidestroke. Tread water for 2 minutes. Get out of the deep end of the pool unassisted, without the use of steps or the bottom of the pool. 

 

All personnel attempting the test must wear clothing commensurate with that worn for their normal operating activity, which for aircrew is a flying suit.

HEALTH REQUIREMENTS

Candidates joining the RAF must be medically fully fit, both physically and psychologically, to meet the challenges of military service, during which they will be expected to deploy, potentially at short notice, to locations world-wide that are remote from established medical care. 

 

Certain medical conditions could preclude entry to the RAF. Further details can be found in this document. 

Before your application, please note that Body Mass Index Requirements are as follows: 

Age Male and female minimum Male and female maximum Male maximum with additional assessment Female maximum with additional assessment
18 + 18 30 32 32
16 to < 18 17 27 27 27

Calculate your BMI here 

 

Eyesight requirements vary for different roles. A requirement to wear glasses or contact lenses may be allowed for aircrew. 
 
If you are unsure about any health criteria, please continue your application and your eligibility will be assessed at the medical examination stage.  

 

During your application, the Medical Risk Assessment that all candidates undergo is there to make sure that you are healthy enough for the intense training required by the RAF. Your application will be rejected if you fail to meet the minimum acceptable medical standard for entry. Your medical history is confidential and is not disclosed to those not authorised to hold this information. 

BACKGROUND CHECKS

YOU MUST:

  • Declare any previous spent and unspent convictions
  • Check if you qualify under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 through this summary
  • Have a basic background check to get Security Check level clearance
DISQUALIFYING FACTORS

YOU CAN'T APPLY FOR THE RAF IF YOU:

  • Have been or are member of a group that stirs up racial hatred and violence
  • Are waiting to appear in court, or have unspent convictions. You may also have to declare spent convictions for certain roles
  • Misuse drugs, solvents and anabolic steroids. But each case is considered upon its own merits
  • Have tattoos, brands or bead implants that are obscene or offensive. 
    Any permanent or temporary tattoos, whether ordinarily visible or not, must not be obscene or offensive (eg, racist, anti-religion or belief, crude, overtly sexist, homophobic, drug related or of an extreme political nature). Tattoos may be worn on the side and back of the neck but tattoos on the back of the neck must not extend above the natural hairline (scalp tattoos are not permitted). 
  • Have body piercing which causes holes that do not close up
  • Declare yourself to be an 'undischarged' bankrupt

Beard Policy:

A revised facial hair policy has been agreed by the Air Force Board which will allow serving personnel to wear a smart, neatly-trimmed, full-set beard whilst maintaining high standards of appearance. The length of acceptable beards is between Grade 1 (2.5mm) and Grade 8 (25.5mm).

The wearing of beards during Phase 1 and Phase 2 training is currently under consideration and details will be advised when available.

If you don’t have any of the above, you might still be able to apply. For more information please contact us.

APPLY
NOW
Got what it takes? Start your application here.
RAF Weapon Systems Operator Crewman in front of illuminated Chinook helicopter at night
APPLY
NOW
Got what it takes? Start your application here.
RAF Weapon Systems Operator Crewman in front of illuminated Chinook helicopter at night