UK and French airforces conduct combined mission to Djibouti

8 January 2021 (Last Updated January 8th, 2021 13:03)

The airforces of the UK and France have conducted a combined Long-Range Projection mission to Djibouti, Africa.

UK and French airforces conduct combined mission to Djibouti
The Long-Range Projection mission demonstrated the CJEF Air Component’s capability. Credit: Royal Air Force. UK Crown Copyright.

The airforces of the UK and France have conducted a combined Long-Range Projection mission to Djibouti, Africa.

The mission saw the involvement of two British Royal Air Force (RAF) A330 Voyager tankers and four Armee de l’air Mirage 2000 fighter jets.

The Voyager tankers from RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire escorted and provided air-to-air refuelling (AAR) to the fighter jets heading to Djibouti, Africa.

The jets were on their 4,000-mile journey to north-east Africa to take part in Exercise SHAHEEN.

The tankers transferred 90,000l of fuel in support of the French Mission to North Africa.

The demonstration proved the capability of the Combined Joint Expeditionary Force Air Component’s (CJEF(Air)).

CJEF is a French-UK military force that was created in 2010, following the signing of the Lancaster House Treaties.

Voyager is the RAF’s sole AAR tanker and also operates as a ‘strategic air transport’. It features two underwing pods for refuelling fast jets.

Paris Defence Attaché air commodore Tim Below said: “It’s great to see French Mirage aircraft taking fuel from an RAF Voyager yesterday as they flew from France to a French airbase in Africa.

“This mission clearly demonstrates the close Franco-British relationship and our ability to work together to rapidly project air power across the globe.

“In doing so we have both improved our techniques and validated our procedures to ensure we are ready to act as part of the Combined Joint Expeditionary Force.”

In April 2019, the RAF’s Voyager and crews took part in a multinational refuelling exercise at the Eindhoven airbase in the Netherlands.