Called “Cobra Warrior,” the exercise takes place twice a year and emphasizes “high-intensity” tactical air operations involving large forces.
This spring edition brings together 70 aircraft, most of which operate from the RAF base at Waddington (North East England) from 2nd to 24th March. They do at least one task a day.
“Over three weeks, we will pool our capabilities and conduct a full range of air operations, including defensive and offensive counter-aircraft missions (DCA and OCA) and operational strike,” the RAF said on its website.
“For the first time, crews provided by the Finnish, Indian and Saudi air forces have taken over this year,” the British military aircraft added.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) has confirmed five French-made Mirage 2000 fighter jets, two Boeing-built C-17 transport aircraft and one Russian-made Ilyushin Il-78 air-to-air refueling tanker. Finland – a candidate for NATO membership – sent six F-18C Hornets and Belgium six F-16A Fighting Falcons.
The Saudi Air Force has meanwhile sent six Eurofighter Typhoons to Britain’s Koningsby base, home to most of the RAF’s fighter jets.
Belgian F-16s and Finnish F-18s, including two decorated aircraft, were spotted last week in the LFA17 (“low-flying area”), a low-flying area between Manchester and Manchester, in the north of England. Border with Scotland.
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