Re-equipping the Queen’s Flight (no. 32 Squadron RAF)

Here is an opportunity to showcase British manufacture, help the 4500 workers in Northern Ireland’s Bombardier factory, minimise import costs[1], and please our friends in Canada – all at the same time.


By buying the Canadian Bombardier CS-30 passenger aircraft to replace ageing Bae 146 jets in the Queen’s Flight which can’t cross the Atlantic non-stop.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is apparently considering acquiring the US business plane “Gulf Stream G650 at a cost of $65 million. The G650 takes from 10-19 passengers depending on internal fitting out.

The list price of the CS-30 series is $70-100 million, but it can carry from 108-160 passengers dependent on type and internal configuration. Whichever is chosen, clearly the CS-30 series is vastly more versatile than the Gulf Stream. Besides royal personages and ministers, it could carry a whole trade delegation plus samples.

Boeing is not going to tender. If the MOD has a mind to, the tender documents for the Bae 146 replacements can surely be designed to ensure Bombardier wins the order. All the more is this important now that Airbus is a majority owner (50.1%) of the C series programme and plant, as it would add significantly to Airbus’s involvement in the UK.

End Note

[1] With a goods trade deficit of £130 billion, second only to the United States’, and the highest in the world by proportion of GDP (6.5%), Britain needs every import saving it can get.

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