UK Typhoons and French Rafale fighters side by side in the Eastern Mediterranean

Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office based on information provided by the Royal Air Force and the French Ministry of Defence

In a demonstration of Joint Air Power capability, Royal Air Force Typhoon fighter jets conducted Air Integration training with Rafale fighter jets alongside the Charles de Gaulle Carrier Strike Group on December 16.

From their location in the Eastern Mediterranean, Typhoons took part in Exercise OLYMPUS DAWN flying with Rafale multi-role fighter jets as well as conducting Air Maritime Integration with the Carrier Strike group.

The exercise conducted over two days over the Mediterranean saw the Typhoons practice simulated long-range missile employment based on radar tracks of the opposing fighters before closing to do visual combat training (dog fighting). An RAF Voyager tanker provided air-to-air refueling to extend the time on task for the fighters. The Typhoons also simulated attacks on the Carrier Strike group to testing their response to approaching missiles and enemy aircraft.

 

Royal Air Force Typhoons took part in Exercise OLYMPUS DAWN flying with  French Navy Rafale multi-role fighter jets as well as conducting Air Maritime Integration with the French Navy Carrier Strike Group, Photo courtesy Royal Air Force.
Royal Air Force Typhoons took part in Exercise OLYMPUS DAWN flying with French Navy Rafale multi-role fighter jets as well as conducting Air Maritime Integration with the French Navy Carrier Strike Group. Photo courtesy Royal Air Force.

 

“The exercise was a fantastic opportunity to work together and share best practise with one of our key partners; it has continued to show our close co-operation and interoperability development,” said the UK Air Component Commander in the Middle East, Air Commodore Nikki Thomas.

“The sorties flown with the French Navy have been a great opportunity to develop the interoperability between the two forces flying different aircraft types. It has also provided essential Air Maritime Integration opportunities for the Carrier Strike Group and French and British pilots alike,” the Mission Commander said describing the Exercise. “The exercise sends a strong strategic message that we remain committed in the Eastern Mediterranean as a coalition, combat ready and able to work seamlessly with our partners in the region,” he added.

Since November 15, the French Carrier Strike Group has conducted Operation ANTARES in close cooperation with other Allied naval forces. The group supports NATO’s capability to monitor and safeguard the approaches to the European area in the Mediterranean Sea. Joining forces with the USS George H.W. Bush and the Italian Cavour, the Charles de Gaulle form a credible intervention force on the Alliance’s eastern flank.

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