The UK Royal Air Force’s (RAF) Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4 force has participated in Exercise Android Preference, which constitutes part of the qualified weapons instructor (QWI) course.
Carried out at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire, UK, the two-week exercise witnessed a total of 265 sorties by 22 Typhoons from five different squadrons.
RAF Coningsby Station commander group captain Johnny Stringer said:”What Android Preference allows us to do is not only to prepare them for the QWI operational phase, but also to expose them to some of the wider and higher-level considerations and consequences of their tactical appreciation, planning and subsequent execution.”
During the exercise, Typhoons conducted search-and-rescue (SAR) manoeuvres along with Tornado GR4 fighters, the US Air Force’s (USAF) F-15 Eagles and Danish F-16 Fighters, as well as other support and attack helicopters.
Tactical air control and command was delivered by an E-3D sentry airborne warning and control system (AWACS) and RAF Scampton-based No 1 Air Control Centre (ACC).
Flight lieutenant Andrew Tidmarsh said: ”The exercise challenges the whole spectrum of what Typhoon can do as a platform; not only fighting air-to-air, but also finding, fixing and prosecuting targets on the ground.”
Group captain Stringer added: ”The key involvement of 1 Air Control Centre and E-3D Sentry underlines the importance of air command and control, as well as ISTAR (intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance), to the effective employment of modern combat air power.”
Providing participants with an excellent opportunity for training on large and diverse packages of aircraft, the exercise is also expected to serve as a blueprint for future training involving different force elements.
Image: Exercise Android Preference involved participation from 22 Typhoons from five different squadrons. Photo: Crown copyright.