MoD Boscombe Down is operated by QinetiQ Ltd (Aircraft Test & Evaluation Sector). Located just north of Salisbury it is the Aircraft Test & Evaluation Centre, for military aircraft and their associated equipments, it is at the centre of the Ministry of Defence's aviation research.
The airfield is home to a vast and varied number of types, with examples of almost all fixed wing and rotary aircraft presently in service with the Royal Air Force.
Units operating from the base include the RAF Strike Attack Operational Evaluation unit (SAOEU) with their Harriers and Tornados undertaking a variety of trials of systems and ordnance. Also flying from Boscombe is the QinetiQ unit operating types such as Hawks, Jaguars, Tornados and many different helicopters.
The Boscombe Bulletin is produced three times a year
The status of Boscombe results in a steady flow of visitors from both the RAF, Royal Navy and NATO.
The RAF presence at Boscombe Down also includes the Empire Test Pilots School and the Southampton University Air Squadron. Boscombe Down also has the longest runway in the UK, at 3,212 metres, with rotary hydraulic arrestor gear and barriers at each end.