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No. 1435 Flight RAF
Typhoon f2 zj910 arp.jpg
A Typhoon typical of the current aircraft of 1435 Flight
Active 4 December 1941 – June 1942
15 July 1942 – 2 August 1942
1 Nov 1988 – current[1]
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Branch Ensign of the Royal Air Force Royal Air Force
Role Air defence
Base RAF Takali
RAF Luqa
RAF Mount Pleasant[1]
Motto(s) Defend the right
Aircraft Hawker Hurricane Mks.IIb & IIc
Bristol Beaufighter Mk.I
McDonnell-Douglas Phantom FGR.2
Panavia Tornado F.3
Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4[1]

No. 1435 Flight is a Eurofighter Typhoon unit of the Royal Air Force, based at RAF Mount Pleasant, providing air defence for the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. The squadron goes by the motto of "Defend the right" while the motto of the Falkland Islands is "Desire the right".

During the Second World War, No. 1435 Flight was a nightfighter unit on Malta subsequently raised to squadron status becoming the only RAF flying squadron to be given a four digit number.


No. 1435 (Night Fighter) Flight was first formed at Malta as a night fighter unit on 4 December 1941, by re-designating the Malta Night Fighter Unit.[1] In July 1942, personnel from No. 603 Squadron were equipped with the Spitfire V to form the unit.[2] After a brief period as No.1435 (Fighter) Flight, at RAF Luqa, due to its size it was raised to No. 1435 Squadron on 2 August 1942 at RAF Luqa, Malta[3][4] It converted to fighter-bomber activities in January 1943 and operated over Sicily and in Italy. It was assigned to the Balkan Air Force, carrying out operations over Albania and Yugoslavia until the end of the war. It disbanded on 29 April 1945 at Falconara, Italy.[5]


In November 1988, when 23 Squadron converted to the Tornado, 1435 Flight was revived, equipped with four McDonnell Douglas Phantom FGR.2s. After No. 23 Squadron's disbandment at RAF Mount Pleasant, the mission and equipment were transferred to No. 1435 Flight, flying the Panavia Tornado F.3 and later the Eurofighter Typhoon.

The aircraft are permanently based in the islands, while the aircrew from the UK are cycled through No. 1435 Flight, with the only limitation being the necessary weather flying qualifications. While there they provide a 365 day, 24 hour alert. The Flight has maintained its Maltese connections, with its aircraft sporting the Maltese cross. The practice of naming the four-aircraft presence on the islands has also been maintained: they are called Faith, Hope and Charity, after the legendary three Gloster Sea Gladiators that once defended Malta, and Desperation. Desperation was added to the three traditional names when Phantoms entered service in the Falklands and the flight was revived in 1988. Faith, Hope and Charity fly operationally, with Desperation appropriately in reserve. On their retirement in 1992, one of the Phantoms was placed as the gate guardian at Mount Pleasant. The Phantoms were replaced by four Tornado F.3s. The four Tornados remained in active service until they were replaced in their turn by the Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4 in September 2009.[6] Although the unit's new aircraft do not have the traditional names applied, the four aircraft have tailcodes that match (F, H, C, D).

Aircraft operatedEdit

Aircraft operated by No. 1435 Flight RAF[1][4][7]
From To Aircraft Variant
December 1941 June 1942 Hawker Hurricane Mks.IIb, IIc
August 1942 April 1945 Bristol Beaufighter Mk.I
November 1988 1992 McDonnell Phantom II FGR.2
1992 September 2009 Panavia Tornado F.3
September 2009 Present Eurofighter Typhoon FGR.4

See alsoEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Lake 1999, p. ??.
  3. Rawlings 1978, p. 511.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Halley 1988, p. 459.
  5. Rawlings 1978, p. 512.
  6. Typhoons arrive in Falklands
  7. Jefford 2001, p. 106.
  • Flintham, Vic and Andrew Thomas. Combat Codes: A full explanation and listing of British, Commonwealth and Allied air force unit codes since 1938. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing Ltd., 2003. ISBN 1-84037-281-8.
  • Halley, James J. The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force & Commonwealth 1918–1988. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air Britain (Historians) Ltd., 1988. ISBN 0-85130-164-9.
  • Jefford, Wing Commander C.G., MBE, BA, RAF(Retd.). RAF Squadrons, a Comprehensive record of the Movement and Equipment of all RAF Squadrons and their Antecedents since 1912. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 1988 (second edition 2001). ISBN 1-85310-053-6.
  • Lake, Alan. Flying Units of the RAF. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing Ltd., 1999. ISBN 1-84037-086-6.
  • Rawlings, John D.R. Fighter Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald & Jane's (Publishers) Ltd., 1969 (2nd edition 1976, reprinted 1978). ISBN 0-354-01028-X.
  • "No 671 – 1435 Squadron Histories". RAFWEB Air of Authority – A History of RAF Organisation. 

External linksEdit

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