ⓘ Shadow squadron

                                     

ⓘ Shadow squadron

Shadow squadrons are additional squadron numbers allocated to RAF training, Operational conversion, and Operational and Weapons evaluation units. Normally in peacetime these units are not tasked with combat roles, however UK planning for a major confrontation during the Cold War would have seen the tasking of the aircraft and pilots of these units in combat roles with the activation of the shadow designations.

Activation of shadow squadron would see, for example, the RAF Hawk trainers was piloted by flight instructors and pilots with the red arrows in a point of air defence with guns and missiles Sidewinder.

In the face of shrinking defence budgets and the dismantling of the historic squadron "double skin" squadrons were a means of preserving the history and traditions of these squadrons for the day, so they could be reborn.