Royal Air Force Typhoon fighter jets from RAF Coningsby have this week taken part in a major German Air Force exercise over the southern North Sea.
In a sign of the growing relationship between two key European NATO Allies, the Typhoons, from XI (Fighter) Squadron, together with an RAF Voyager from RAF Brize Norton have this week joined German Typhoons and Tornados plus aircraft from several other NATO Allies and partner nations on Exercise MAGDay.
The Officer Commanding XI (F) Squadron said: “Exercise MAGDay provides, XI (F) Squadron with the opportunity to demonstrate our ability to project UK Air Power and fight in a complex environment, shoulder-to-shoulder with our closest allies.”
As part of the exercise the RAF Typhoons and German Eurofighters conducted Air-to-Air refuelling, from a RAF Voyager off German North Sea coast before conducting further training over Northern Germany.
An XI(F) Squadron pilot who flew on the exercise said: “Participation in Ex MAGDay has required detailed tactical planning and coordination with our European and US counterparts. The execution provided an excellent opportunity to reinforce and hone our interoperability skills with key NATO Allies to undertake multi-role missions. In this case involving 40 aircraft from five nations. Exercises like this give us the experience of working together as a team, which is the key to being able to conduct air operations as part of an alliance, such as NATO successfully.”
As well as the flying, Exercise MAGDay also created an ideal environment to test the RAF’s ability to communicate with other national communication systems within the NATO Alliance, an important aspect for coalition air operations.
This edition of Exercise MAGDay in addition to the RAF and German participation, also saw US and Dutch F-16 fighters and Swiss Air Force F18 Hornets. The Air to Air refuelling was carried out by a RAF Voyager, a German A310 and a A400M plus a US KC135 tanker.
Lieutenant General Ingo Gerhartz, the Chief of the German Air Force, said Ex MAGDay allows the Luftwaffe to operate “shoulder to shoulder” with European Allies and Partners in the preparation of combined missions.”