The airforces of the UK, US and France are participating in the joint, multinational tri-lateral field training exercise, Atlantic Trident 2021.
The British Royal Air Force ’s (RAF) Typhoons from XI(F) Squadron are working alongside the US Air Force (USAF) F-35A Lightning II joint strike fighters and French Rafale fighters in the exercise.
Hosted by France, Atlantic Trident is being conducted at Mont-de-Marsan Air Force Base over the south-west and central part of the country from 17 to 28 May.
The exercise provides an opportunity for the participating aircrews to develop skills in ‘working together, exploiting the strengths of the aircraft and developing the ability to operate as one team’.
It marks a milestone in RAF’s history as the first international exercise to see the participation of jets from the new UK’s aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth.
During the exercise, RAF Typhoons will join daily events in the sky by flying from their home base at RAF Coningsby supported by RAF Voyager Tankers from RAF Brize Norton air station.
In the second week of the exercise, the RAF F-35B Lightning jets of 617 (Dambusters) Squadron from HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier will join the other platforms.
RAF IX (F) Squadron pilot flight lieutenant Smyth said: “By flying together on Exercise Atlantic Trident, the US, France and UK will be able to deliver increased effect, as we will be able to better understand each other and come together to achieve optimum interoperability.
“Training together is really important because it helps us to understand the similarities of our respective air arm, the strengths of each of our fighter aircraft, and how we can work together to improve, both technologically and operationally in terms of the effect we are trying to achieve.”
101 Squadron Voyager tankers will provide fuel for all participating aircraft.