RAF pilots train alongside five other nations during UK’s biggest aerial exercise

Source: Royal Air Force (RAF)

Aircrew from five nations joined with Royal Air Force aircrew for the UK’s biggest aerial training exercise that ended this week.

This iteration of Exercise Cobra Warrior saw 70 aircraft training together in high intensity, large force, simulated complex air warfighting operations for three weeks. The exercise aimed to boost interoperability and help to develop joint tactics in the air and was ran from the RAF’s Air and Space Warfare Centre, based at RAF Waddington.

Minister for the Armed Forces, James Heappey, said: “Cobra Warrior is a fantastic opportunity for British pilots to exercise with our international partners, learning from each other and rehearsing operating together, as I’m sure our air forces will do many times over the coming decades.”

Aircrew from the Finnish, Indian and Royal Saudi Air Forces took part this year for the first time and were joined by aircrew from the Belgian and the US Air Forces, nations that have previously participated in Cobra Warrior exercises. The Indian Air Force deployed five Mirage 2000 aircraft to RAF Waddington. The Royal Saudi Air Force were operating six Typhoons from RAF Coningsby.


Aircrew from five nations joined with Royal Air Force aircrew for the UK’s biggest aerial training exercise that ended this week.
Photo: Royal Air Force (RAF).


Six Belgian Air Force F-16s and six F-18s from the Finnish Air Force also operated from RAF Waddington. Finland’s participation was part of a wider training activity in support of Joint Expeditionary Force exercises.

Squadron Leader McFadden, the Officer Commanding 92 Squadron, that planned the exercise with the RAF’s Air and Space Centre said: “Exercise Cobra Warrior is a challenging Air-led multi-domain exercise, focused on pitting our NATO, Joint Expeditionary Force and International Partners against a capable peer adversary within a challenging and complex environment.

“It has been a pleasure to host pilots from so many different nations to fly alongside UK pilots and train together in joint-tactics and interoperability.”

RAF Voyager aircraft supported the exercise, conducting air-to-air refuelling operations, flying from RAF Brize Norton. UK Joint Helicopter Command aircraft also participated, flying from RAF Leeming.

The RAF’s Air Mobility Force also took part in the exercise, with sorties including deploying elements of 16 Air Assault Brigade during an associated ground mission, that formed part of the overall exercise scenario.


Related news & articles

Latest news