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June 1, 2022

RAF’s aircraft conduct air maritime exercises with US Navy’s ships

The exercise aimed to enhance interoperability and allowed the participants to practise a range of drills.

The UK Royal Air Force (RAF) has deployed its aircraft to conduct air maritime exercises simultaneously with the US Navy.

The exercises were conducted over the Red and Baltic seas.

As part of the exercise, the RAF’s Typhoon fighter jets from RAF Lossiemouth joined the F-35B Lightning combat aircraft from RAF Marham over the Baltic Sea.

The RAF’s aircraft were also joined by the US Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Gravely and the Czech Air Force’s Gripen fighter jets.

During the course of the exercises, the Typhoon jets flew a seven-hour long sortie and conducted their first refuelling from the RAF’s sole air-to-air refuelling (AAR) tanker aircraft, Voyager, from RAF Brize Norton.

After completing the first refuelling, the Typhoons came under the USS Gravely’s control to achieve integrated air and missile defence, required for defending the ship.

An RAF Lossiemouth Typhoon pilot said: “We conducted defensive air combat against adversaries simulating airborne attacks against the ship.”

Meanwhile, a similar exercise was carried out in the Red Sea region by the US Navy’s another Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Gonzalez.

The USS Gonzalez was joined by the RAF Typhoons that flew from RAF Akrotiri, currently deployed under the 83 Expeditionary Air Group, and the US Air Force’s (USAF) F-16 aircraft.

In this exercise, the US Navy’s destroyer Gonzalez offered maritime air control to the RAF Typhoons, to practice intercepts.

The maritime air control also allowed Typhoon pilots to undertake fighting manoeuvres against USAF’s F-16 aircraft.

The exercise allowed the participants to practise a wide range of drills and achieve enhanced interoperability between the RAF’s aircraft and the US Navy’s ships.

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