Sukhoi Su15 in RAF ServiceEdit

The New Commonwealth had a defence procurement policy of 66% sourced from member states and the rest from the best the world had to offer. This in practice meant that the RAF, RCAF, RAAF, RSAAF etc generally bought British, Canadian or American, the two notable exceptions to this rule entered Commonwealth service in 1983, they were sourced with the access to spares, cheapness of initial buy and ease of use in unforgiving circumstances.

The RAF wary of the Chinese PLA Air Force build up within striking range of Hong Kong and Singapore needed a short range interceptor to protect its bases. With little in the pot and no new build interceptor to be spared from other more important sectors the idea of leasing aircraft emerged.

Initially the USA was approached for the lease of F16s but this was not possible as the Anglo/US tensions were again on the rise. With this rebuke in mind the British government approached the USA's bitter rival the USSR, and after a series of high level meetings they agreed to lease 112 Su15s to the UK as well as 34 Su25s, at a knock down price and on the stipulation that they must not be used against a supplied list of client states.

The Su15 in RAF service acquired the name Cossack (original and pleasing to the crews) and was extensively modified to enter service in its F1 guise, the aircraft ran through three further marks before bowing out of RAF service like so many others in 1991.

The aircraft illustrated is the upgraded F3 with the extra weapons pylons but without the full British weapons fit of the F4, she has the anti flash white strip beloved of RAF units defending bases containing nuclear weapons and carries the Sukhoi factory logo as well as a Soviet style Bort number using the last two digits of her serial. This particular Aircraft was based at Hong Kong and flew defence patrols for Concorde units when they deployed to the base as well as border patrols to restrict Chinese incursions into the Crown colony.