Boris Johnson is getting ready to splash millions of pounds of taxpayers’ cash replacing RAF planes to fly him to foreign summits.

The Prime Minister already has a huge RAF Voyager to carry him round the world in luxury.

But, before 2022, the Tory leader is expected to approve buying at least two aircraft to use on shorter trips to European capitals.

The RAF is trying to sell the four BAe 146 planes which make up No32 (The Royal) Squadron, also known as The Queen’s Flight.

BAe 146
Seen here taking off from a foreign airfield, the aircraft are based at RAF Northolt in north-west London

The aircraft, which can fly for 1,400 miles before refuelling, are used by the Royal Family and senior ministers for short-haul trips.

But they are being touted for sale after they were listed by the Defence Equipment Sales Authority in a brochure at an Defence and Security Equipment International industry event late last year.

The Ministry of Defence has now confirmed the planes will be retired from service by March 2022 - and replacements are being lined up.

Defence Procurement Minister said in a written Commons answer: “The current fleet of four BAe 146 aircraft are planned to be retired from service on March 31, 2022.

“Replacements for those aircraft are currently under consideration as part of normal capability planning.”

The PM frequently uses aircraft
Mr Johnson boarding a plane during the general election campaign

Shadow Defence Secretary Nia Griffith said: “This shows breath-taking arrogance from Boris Johnson .

“While he flies around the world in luxury, our Armed Forces are still reeling from the massive defence cuts that the Tories have made since 2010.

“It’s time he got his priorities right and spent taxpayers’ money where it is really needed – investing in our service members and in our country’s defences.”

A plan to replace the 490mph planes was first slipped out more than four years ago by David Cameron.

The Government’s 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review said that “as part of Joint Force 2025, we will have ... a recapitalised Command Support Air Transport fleet to replace the current aircraft as they reach the end of their life”.

RAF Airtanker A330 Voyager ZZ336, which has been converted to provide travel for the Royal Family and Government Ministers
An RAF Airbus A330 Voyager, registration ZZ336, was refitted for use by the Royal Family and senior Government ministers

It went on: “This will increase their operational utility and ensure we are able to continue to transport the Royal Family and senior Ministers cost effectively.”

The SDSR also revealed the £10million plan to convert an Airbus A330 Voyager from the RAF’s refuelling fleet for the Prime Minister to use on long-haul trips.

The makeover went ahead and the revamped air tanker, dubbed Cam Force One, flew Mr Cameron to a NATO summit in Warsaw in July 2016.

It was the then PM’s only flight on the jet, coming just days before he skulked from No10 for the last time after quitting in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum.

The plane has since been used to fly to destinations including Argentina, the US and southern Africa.

Mr Johnson often used a BAe 146 to meet European foreign ministers when he was Foreign Secretary.

The PM often goes back on a plane to speak to reporters travelling with him

But one of the four-engine aircraft he was travelling in had to make an emergency landing at Luton Airport in July 2016 after it suffered a technical problem as it took off for Brussels from RAF Northolt.

Mr Johnson had to use “alternative means” to get to Belgium after the plane was forced to the ground by an apparent hydraulics system fault.

The plane-loving PM previously demanded his own jet as Foreign Secretary so he could globe-trot in style.

He was thought to be frustrated at being forced to travel on scheduled flights instead of a private aircraft on a trip to South America in 2018.

He has frequently used the BAe 146 planes since becoming PM in July last year.

BAe 146 CC.2
The BAe 146 aircraft will be axed in 2022

Mr Johnson flew on one to Berlin on Sunday to attend German leader Angela Merkel’s mini-summit on easing the mounting violence in Libya.

No32 Squadron is based at RAF Northolt in north-west London where the runway reopened in November after six months of resurfacing works costing £23million.

Dignitaries had to travel from RAF Brize Norton, Oxon, while the revamp took place.

In 2018, BAe Systems was awarded a four-year, £42million contract from the Ministry of Defence to support the fleet of BAe 146 aircraft.