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Royal Air Force publishes new strategy

The RAF has updated its strategy following last year’s Integrated Review, which set out the Government’s ambition for the Armed Forces in the years to come.  

Our enduring purpose is global air and space power to protect the nation.

We must:

  • Succeed Today
  • Innovate for Tomorrow
  • Value our People


The RAF Strategy Summary



The most operationally successful, agile and innovative Air Force in the world; always there for our nation
The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston.
The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston.

"We operate in an era of strategic competition and confrontation, with nations actively destabilising the international order that we rely on for our security, stability and prosperity. This strategy should inspire, inform and cohere everything we do as a Service, so that together we will achieve the Royal Air Force vision to be the most operationally successful, agile and innovative Air Force in the world; always there for our nation."

Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston
Chief of the Air Staff

Read the full RAF Strategy

Typhoon on the runway.
Investing in the improvement and maintenance of our RAF aircraft is vital for the success of Air operations and exercises.

Why do we need a new RAF Strategy?

In 2021, the United Kingdom Government published the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy (IR21).

It set out the Government’s ambitions for the UK’s place in the rapidly changing world CAS describes - and the role of the Armed Forces in delivering those ambitions.

We have updated our three core strategic objectives, which were largely unchanged for five years, to: Succeed Today, Innovate for Tomorrow, Value our People because they better reflect the Government’s IR21 intent.

Two Lightning aircraft during air-to-air refuelling.

Succeed Today

While the world has changed out of all recognition since our formation in 1918, the RAF’s enduring purpose has not – delivering global air and space power to protect the nation.

Our strategic objective of Succeed Today is focused on successfully maintaining our outstanding operational edge at home and overseas to protect the UK’s security, stability and prosperity.

But faced with the global threat of growing climate change, we must also succeed in terms of resource and environment, which is why we are committed to becoming the world’s first net zero air force by 2040. 

An Ikarus C42 microlight aircraft.
The RAF pledges to become carbon Net-Zero by 2040, with strategies such as using sustainable aviation fuels in our aircraft, tested by the pictured Ikarus C42 microlight.

Innovate for Tomorrow

Our adversaries will develop and exploit new, rapidly evolving and proliferating technologies to challenge us for any operating advantage. Our systems must remain at the cutting edge of technology.

We must be integrated across all five domains of air, land, sea, space and cyberspace as well as nationally across Government, and engaged internationally with our allies and partners.

Our purpose is enduring but the world around us is changing. To maintain our operational edge, we must constantly evolve and Innovate for Tomorrow through our Astra ways of working.

Protector RG Mk 1 in flight.
RAF future aircraft, like the Protector RG Mk 1 is the next generation of remotely piloted medium-altitude, long endurance aircraft to improve our capabilities.

Value our People

The Royal Air Force is a Whole Force, a blend of aviators, civil servants, contractors and industry partners. We all have a sense of belonging to the Royal Air Force and our shared responsibility and duty binds us together.

Our people must feel proud, confident, empowered and, most importantly, valued; not just for what they do, but for who they are and what they bring to the Royal Air Force.

We are already an inclusive and diverse organisation, but we can always do more; inclusion is key to teamwork, and diversity enhances the Royal Air Force as a problem-solving organisation.

Prince of Wales reviews graduation.
The RAF provides comprehensive training to the next generation of RAF aviators.