Air Marshal Sir Richard Knighton has been appointed as the next head of the Royal Air Force.
His appointment means the RAF will be led by a non-pilot for the first time since the service was founded in 1918.
In his previous role, AM Knighton, an RAF engineer, served in the Ministry of Defence (MOD) as Deputy Chief of Defence Staff in charge of Military Capability – a position responsible for the strategic planning and delivery of all aspects of RAF capability, including people, equipment, infrastructure, and training.
Any nomination for the post would have been first agreed by Defence Secretary Ben Wallace before final approval was requested from the King.
AM Knighton, who was born in Derbyshire, spent his early career working as an engineer officer in a range of operational and staff appointments on Nimrod, Tornado F3 and Harrier aircraft after joining the Royal Air Force in 1988 as a University Cadet.
Over the years, he progressed to become Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff before reaching the position of Deputy Commander.
His early career as an engineer officer in a range of operational and staff appointments was followed by a role with the Harrier Integrated Project Team and as the Military Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Defence Staff (Equipment Capability).
In 2007, he was promoted to Group Captain and became Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff Strategy and Plans at Air Command at RAF High Wycombe. He joined RAF Wittering as the Logistics Force Commander two years later.
AM Knighton took on one of his biggest roles with the Ministry of Defence as the Deputy Chief of Defence Staff (Military Capability) in December 2018.
In 2022, he took on his current position as the Deputy Commander for Capability and People for the Royal Air Force.
Outside of the military, he is married to Caitlin, and they have two daughters. He also holds a degree in engineering from Clare College in Cambridge, and his degree was later promoted to a Master's.
The current Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston, is due to step down this summer, with AM Knighton now expected to continue his work on key projects.
These include bringing into service the UK's new F-35 stealth fighter, overseeing the new Poseidon submarine hunter aircraft as part of the maritime patrol fleet, and the new Wedgetail surveillance aircraft, which the RAF is due to receive this year for the design, test and evaluation phase, prior to the start of the operational training phase in 2024.