Home Air Royal Air Force’s new VIP transport duo to be named ‘Envoy IV’

Royal Air Force’s new VIP transport duo to be named ‘Envoy IV’

Photo: Royal Air Force

The Royal Air Force’s two new Dassault 900LX aircraft will be named the ‘Envoy IV’ in a nod both to its crucial role in defense diplomacy and to previous Envoy aircraft in RAF service.

Two new aircraft have been purchased to replace the BAe146 aircraft that were withdrawn from service in March this year.

Based at RAF Northolt with No 32 (The Royal) Squadron, the new Envoy aircraft will be initially under contract with Centreline AV Ltd. For the first two years, the aircraft will be operated by mixed crews of RAF and Centreline staff, before upgrading to a full military and operational capability in 2024.

The new Envoy aircraft will transport members of the Royal Family, government and military leaders around the world more quickly and efficiently than before. The Envoy can fly further, faster, and more sustainably than the aircraft it replaces.

The name reflects the role of the aircraft in defense diplomacy and relationship building. The original Envoy aircraft in RAF service was known as the Envoy III. It was a twin-engine light transport aircraft, used by the RAF before and during World War 2 in the communications role; one of which served with the ‘King’ s Flight’ – a precursor to today’s No 32 (The Royal) Squadron.

“I am delighted to be able to announce the naming of our new Command Support Air Transport aircraft as the Envoy IV. The name reflects our proud heritage, heralds the arrival of a new aircraft type, and recognizes its important mission. The fleet – and those who make it fly – play a key role in the future of UK defense, moving quickly to build and strengthen partnerships, relationships and influence across the globe,” Air Vice-Marshal Simon Edwards said.