Reconnaisance Spitfires

Vickers Supermarine
Spitfire Mk PR XVIII

The Mk. 18 was a refinement of the Mk. XIV. It was identical in most respects including engine (the Griffon 65) and cockpit enhancements, but it carried extra fuel and had a revised, stronger wing structure. Its handling was also nearly identical and so it was not put through any performance tests. Like the Mk. XIV before it there were fighter and fighter reconnaissance variants built.

The Mk. 18 missed the war. It was built up until early 1946 but it was not until January 1947 that an RAF squadron, No. 60 Squadron RAF which operated from RAF Seletar, Singapore, was re-equipped with the variant. Later other squadrons in the Far East and Middle East would receive them. Some 300 Mk. 18s were built but they saw little action apart from some involvement against guerillas in the Malyan Emergency. The Royal Indian Air Force purchased 20 ex-RAF Mk. 18s in 1947.