U.K., Oman air forces conduct bilateral exercise, Magic Carpet 17

The Royal Air Force (RAF) and the Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) has conducted two-week long bilateral live-fire training named Exercise Magic Carpet 17 in Oman.

Eight RAF Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets from No 6 Squadron, based at RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland, and nearly 250 personnel comprising RAF regular, reserve and civilian contractors has participated in the exercise. The RAFO was represented by F-16 combat aircraft.

The RAF Detachment Commander, Wing Commander Billy Cooper said: “In two weeks of flying we have flown 102 sorties. The Typhoons have performed exceptionally well with first class maintenance from our engineers.”

“Not only have my pilots been able to practice all the skills they need. But it has been a fantastic opportunity to work in testing conditions for everyone from our field caterers to armourers and the forward air controllers who call in airpower.” “From the military perspective we have had excellent access to ranges to drop precision guided bombs and to use Typhoon’s 27 mm cannon as well as practising air defence alongside the RAFO F-16 jets,” he added.

Deployment of the RAF Typhoon to Oman is significant as RAFO is now an operator of the type.

Oman has taken delivery of its first Eurofighter Typhoon multi-role fighter in June this year becoming the 7th operator of the platform after Austria, Germany, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Spain and UK.

Oman signed a £2.5 billion ($4.1 billion) deal with BAE Systems to acquire 12 Typhoons and 8 BAE Hawk advanced trainer jets in December 2012. The 12 jet order include 9 single seat fighters and 3 twin seat fighter/trainer variants. The deal also includes an option for 12 additional Typhoons.

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