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SIFT Interview


So I've got my Sift interview at the end of this month and medical on the 16th. Like everyone else I'm sure I've searched for all the past questions people have been asked and collated them into one document to prepare answers for.

The Bit I'm struggling with is the Navy Knowledge. I've just made a list of all the Ships listed on the Royal Navy website and there's 70 +, Do i need to know the name of all these ships and their roles/weapons/radars as well as being able to identify them? Obviously you've got all the different categories of ships so is it the case that you just need to know a couple in great detail from each category?

After I passed my Psychometric test's the officer there gave me an A3 pull out with the silhouettes of around 23 ships from aircraft carriers to aviation training ships, 3 submarines, 6 helicopters and some small arms and vehicles, He told me to learn these so is it the case that these may be the only ones I need to know ?

Any help would me much appreciated !


I had my interview last month i was just asked what Submarines we had and what are their roles. Im going in as a submariner so thats why they asked me that, so i guess it all depends on whether you are joining the Surface Fleet or Submarines. Which ever it is, i would recommend you study the ships or subs depending on your choice.


Aircrew officer pilots the role I'm going for, reckon that means I'll need to focus on aircraft carriers and aircraft?


This is what i revised before my interview:

In total there are 79 commissioned ships in the navy. 19 of the commissioned vessels are major surface combatants (6 guided missile destroyers and 13 frigates) and 11 are nuclear powered submarines (4 ballistic missile submarines and 7 fleet submarines). In addition the Navy possesses an aircraft carrier (in service as a helicopter carrier), a helicopter carrier and 2 landing platform docks. The total displacement of the Royal Navy is approximately 340,000 tonnes (775,000 tonnes including the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and Royal Marines).

Assault Ships have the ability to launch helicopters and landing craft. We have HMS Illustrious, HMS Ocean, HMS Bulwark and HMS Albion. HMS Illustrious’s primary role is the UK’s High Readiness Helicopter and Commando Carrier. HMS Ocean’s primary role is to carry an Embarked Military Force (EMF) supported by helicopters and landing craft. The Albion Class Landing Platform Docks primary function is, by air and sea, to deploy troops and their equipment forming part of an Amphibious Assault Force.

Destroyers and Frigates are, as always, the workhorses of the fleet, Destroyers are optimised for air defence and Frigates for surface and subsurface warfare. They are equally at home in large task groups or on independent operations which may include sanctions enforcement, humanitarian relief or anti-drug patrols.

Patrol Ships and Minehunters are the smaller fighting ships of the Royal Navy. The world-leading mine countermeasures ships keep the sealanes safe from unexploded ordnance, while offshore patrol vessels play an important role in UK home waters by enforcing fishery laws and providing a presence in UK oil and gas fields. The smaller inshore patrol boats are adept and flexible units providing support to the Fleet and a unique insight to the Royal Navy for university students.



Sounds pretty impressive, Last thing I'm struggling with is what fixed wing aircraft do the navy use to train pilots ? I know they do not own any Fast jets but researching my pipeline it mentions learning to fly in fixed wing aircraft before going on to rotary, however it does not give the name of the aircraft


War Hero
Jetstream left service and was replaced by King Air.

For Sift Interview you need to show you know the Navy works at sea, at a reasonable range of locatinos and has a broad range of capabilities. Being a spotter will not get you bonus marks.


War Hero
'Jetstream' and 'combat jets' should not be used in the same sentence. The Jetstream is not a jet and is certainly not a combat aircraft. It was, until recently, used for training Zeroes (or Observers, as they're otherwise known) and for general comms duties. As PT said, this is now the role of the King Air.

All pilots will carry out grading. This is a around 12 hours of flying during which they will determine if the tests they conducted on you were a fluke or whether you do have the potential to continue on to aircrew training. The beautiful Chipmunk has been replaced with a pretty lacklustre Grob and if you can't fly that you certainly don't deserve to be let anywhere near another aerial conveyance.

All pilots (who passed grading) also undergo Elementary Training. Bit more difficult now; what with not only learning to fly but also doing some military-type things, such as formation flying and low level navigation. Again on the Grob Tutor. I don't now how many hours but it used to be around 60 until the end of EFT.

At this point some pilots may be selected for fixed wing flying, if they display certain attributes required of a future fast jet pilot, whereas the majority of the course will continue on to their rotary training.

For the fixed wing candidate you basically become a Crab for the next couple of years. First of all it's off to Linton-On-Ouse for Basic Flying Training (BFT) on the Tucano. More of the same as EFT but a faster aircraft, more formation and more low level stuff. Linton is one of the best places you could be based and if you don't enjoy the time there then you need to get your swede checked for bumps.

After the Tucano things get faster and more pointy and more quiet, as you lose the prop and jump into the Hawk for Advanced Jet Training. Lots and lots more of the stuff above but now low level navs in formation, a lot more speed and things getting a fair bit more like the real thing. Once the learning-to-fly-a-jet course is successfully completed the fun of 'using' a jet comes into play. This used to be called the Tactical Weapons Unit and based in Brawdy and Chivenor but that is just showing my age. I don't know if the name has changed but you remain at RAF Valley on the Hawk. Now the really good fun begins; dropping bombs, firing guns, leading tactical formations for an accurate time on target whilst getting 'bounced', air combat, missing the flag by miles in air-to-air gunnery, all the good stuff that distinguishes a military jet from a civvy jet and an AFT student from a TWU (?) student.

Now we enter the Twilight Zone because nobody knows what happens next. It used to be that you'd 're-join' the RN and pop off to Yeovilton for a spot of Sea Harrier flying but some boring politicians got rid of that idea in favour of going to the Crabs for some GR Harrier flying. But some boring politicians spoilt that idea too. So we're left with future JSF/F35 pilots. Who knows where they'll train, with whom they'll train and where they'll be based? With all this jointery around, I suppose the classes will be filled by the Dark Blue and the also rans but nobody really knows what's going to happen, so don't take anything they say in the AFCO as gen.

So, now you know and let's have no more talk of Jetstreams (unless you're talking in a meteorological sense and then you'd just be really boring).


Short of using the search function to find the dozens of other threads on this (I'm sure there have been at least 3 or 4 started in the last couple of weeks alone):

> Learn the classes of ship ESPECIALLY the new ones (Type 45, QE Carrier, Type 26). Learning the names of the new ships would be a good idea. They'll ask about dates as well. Learn what they do and what they're armed with. Generally speaking, Frigates and Destroyers are considered general purpose vessels but you need to know what their primary role is.

> Learn about classes of boat - it's easy, there's not many - and what they're for. Knowing what they're armed with will help. They will ask you about the Astute class.

> Learn about aircraft and what their primary role is. Again, the JSF will come up.

As far as I'm aware, the knowledge for the SIFT is pretty shallow in terms of depth but you should have a broad knowledge in terms of scope. Focus more on your chosen branch (FAA look at aircraft more, SS look at subs a bit more and surface fleet look at surface ships a little more).

> Current deployments - i.e. where the RN is and what it's doing there. Include the official names of the deployments, standing commitments and give examples of the ships/boats that are stationed there.

> Royal Marines & FAA - I didn't get asked anything about the FAA but had a few questions about the RM. It really does depend on what your ACLO feels like asking. Knowing what the make up of 3 Commando Brigade will serve you well.

If you hit the right buttons in terms of service knowledge questions, you'll be fine. if you try and blag your way through, they'll pick up on it. They will know the difference between you generally not knowing and guessing the answer as opposed to you needing a little bit of a shove in the right direction because the wording of the question may not have been clear. In all honesty the outline above should be enough to see you through. It's likely that there'll be something you don't know - but it really doesn't matter. Unless your service knowledge is dreadful I doubt it'll make or break the interview.
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