As an Aerospace Systems Operator, you are the eyes and ears of the RAF – the first line of defence for the UK at home and our Armed Forces abroad. You’ll manage some of the world’s most sophisticated sensors, communications and computer information systems to search the skies for potential threats.
You could be part of a team controlling offensive, defensive and combat support aircraft to intercept and, if necessary, destroy hostile or rogue aircraft. Or you could be disseminating information to the Royal Navy, the Army or other countries’ armed forces. You could also be part of a team that’s on standby to go anywhere in the world to support aircrew and ground troops. You may also find yourself working on the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System, where you’ll watch for missile launches around the world, track objects in space and provide support to the United States Space Network. Or possibly at the Electronic Warfare range, RAF Spadeadam, where you support the Electronic Warfare training given to UK and NATO aircrews.
Like most servicemen in the RAF, you’ll probably move jobs every few years, and each job is known as a tour. Aerospace Systems Operators normally work in one of the Control and Reporting Centres, on our mobile Air Command and Control Centre, or in roles providing support to operations overseas. You could also be tasked to work alongside military colleagues in the Army providing them with an understanding and awareness of the air environment above and around them.
For those who possess the required aptitude and complete the required training, the opportunity exists to qualify as a Senior Non-Commissioned Officer (SNCO) Weapon Controller (WC), which attracts advancement in rank to sergeant. Later in your career, depending on your qualifications, there is also the potential to work on board the Sentry E-3D aircraft, based at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire.