F35-B fighter jets have arrived on HMS Queen Elizabeth to take part in her exercise the way to North East Scotland. HMS Queen Elizabeth has embarked two squadrons of F-35B stealth jets: the UK’s 617 Sqn and US Marine Corps fighter attack squadron 211. With a total of fifteen F-35B’s and eight Merlin helicopters, it’s the largest air group to operate from a Royal Navy carrier in more than thirty years, and the largest air group of fifth generation fighters at sea anywhere in the world. This month’s Group Exercise (GROUPEX) will see HMS Queen Elizabeth joined by warships from the UK, US and the Netherlands, which will accompany HMS Queen Elizabeth on her first global deployment in 2121. However before then, the newly formed Carrier Strike Group will be put through its paces off the North East coast of Scotland as part of Joint Warrior, NATO’s largest annual exercise.
Ministry of Defence

HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH WELCOMES UK AND US JETS FOR MAJOR EXERCISE

F35-B fighter jets have arrived on HMS Queen Elizabeth to take part in her exercise the way to North East Scotland. HMS Queen Elizabeth has embarked two squadrons of F-35B stealth jets: the UK’s 617 Sqn and US Marine Corps fighter attack squadron 211. With a total of fifteen F-35B’s and eight Merlin helicopters, it’s the largest air group to [Read More …]

Pictured is an RAF Chinook Mk6A lifting a French Army Panhard Véhicule Blindé Léger, also known by its acronym Panhard VBL or simply VBL, it is a French wheeled 4x4 all-terrain vehicle A crew from C Flt, 18 Sqn, RAF Odiham, operating on Op NEWCOMBE as part of 1310 Flt. Working in conjunction with RAF and British Army personnel from Joint Helicopter Support Squadron, RAF Benson. Tasking in support of the French, Groupement Tactique Desert de l'Air (GTD-A). It is currently rainy season in the Sahel, making ground movement difficult. The unique heavy lift capability of the Chinook allowed a replacement vehicle to be delivered over a long distance where ground movement is difficult. Personnel from RAF Odiham have been deployed in non-combat roles in Mali since 2018 with the aircraft contributing a unique logistical capability to the French-led operation. The Chinooks and aircrew allow French troops to cover a much larger field of operations by moving personnel to the front-line of activity, eliminating the need for dangerous road moves, and help move vital support equipment to strategic locations.
Ministry of Defence

ROYAL AIR FORCE CHINOOKS CONDUCT SUPPORT OPERATIONS IN WEST AFRICA

Pictured is an RAF Chinook Mk6A lifting a French Army Panhard Véhicule Blindé Léger, also known by its acronym Panhard VBL or simply VBL, it is a French wheeled 4×4 all-terrain vehicle A crew from C Flt, 18 Sqn, RAF Odiham, operating on Op NEWCOMBE as part of 1310 Flt. Working in conjunction with RAF and British Army personnel from [Read More …]

RAF Typhoon aircraft from RAF Lossiemouth that are currently operating from Leuchars Station have intercepted two Russian aircraft off the Scottish Coast. Quick Reaction Alert Typhoons are currently based at former RAF Leuchars, which is now the British Army’s Leuchars Station, the home of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards. They recently relocated temporarily while the intersection of the runways at RAF Lossiemouth is resurfaced and this is the first scramble since the Typhoons have returned to the former RAF Station. The Russian aircraft were identified as a TU-142 Bear F maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft. This scramble has been caused by the Russian aircraft entering the UK Flight Information Region, the UK’s controlled zone of international airspace. Monitoring this zone ensures the safe passage for all other aircraft, including civilian transatlantic airliners that are under UK civilian air traffic control.
Ministry of Defence

RAF TYPHOONS INTERCEPT RUSSIAN AIRCRAFT OFF SCOTTISH COAST

RAF Typhoon aircraft from RAF Lossiemouth that are currently operating from Leuchars Station have intercepted two Russian aircraft off the Scottish Coast. Quick Reaction Alert Typhoons are currently based at former RAF Leuchars, which is now the British Army’s Leuchars Station, the home of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards. They recently relocated temporarily while the intersection of the runways at [Read More …]

A Typhoon pilot holds his aircraft whilst waiting for permission to continue from air trafic control. RAF Lossiemouth Typhoons take off to take part in Ex Point Blank over the North Sea. The Typhoons are providing the “enemy”, for this exercise which is an important role that adds a significant challenge to the other exercising aircraft. This exercise will see over 50 aircraft from the Royal Air Force, United States Marine Corps, the United States Air Force and the Royal Netherlands Air Force conducting a complex air exercise over the North Sea.
Ministry of Defence

ROYAL AIR FORCE JETS JOIN NATO ALLIES IN LARGE SCALE EXERCISE OVER THE NORTH SEA

A Typhoon pilot holds his aircraft whilst waiting for permission to continue from air trafic control. RAF Lossiemouth Typhoons take off to take part in Ex Point Blank over the North Sea. The Typhoons are providing the “enemy”, for this exercise which is an important role that adds a significant challenge to the other exercising aircraft. This exercise will see [Read More …]

Aircraft from V Marine Fighter Attack (VMFA) - 211 Squadron arrived at RAF Marham 03 Mar 20 to start their UK detachment. The ten F-35B jets flew from their base in Yuma, Arizona via MCAS Beaufort to visit the UK for the first time. The US Marine Corps Squadron will be working alongside 617 Squadron ahead of a Group Exercise in September where they will embark on Her Majesty’s Ship (HMS) Queen Elizabeth to take part in Exercise Joint Warrior. VMFA-211 Squadron will conduct synthetic training in the purpose built simulators at RAF Marham to familiarise themselves with the local airspace and procedures before they take to the Norfolk skies to fly training sorties alongside 617 Squadron in preparation for their embarkation with the carrier later this month. They will also be participating in Exercise Point Blank with their colleagues from local base RAF Lakenheath along with other NATO partners. Throughout this preparation period personnel from both 211 and 617 Squadron will be in quarantine and will undergo Covid-19 testing to ensure they are Covid-19 free before they join the ship. Once onboard HMS Queen Elizabeth both Squadrons will conduct carrier qualification training to ensure all pilots are proficient to operate from the carrier during both day and night. Training will also include live and inert weapons training ahead of Carrier Strike Group 21 (CSG21) next year which will see the carrier deploy operationally for the first time. With the training complete the aircraft will then conduct Exercise Joint Warrior from HMS Queen Elizabeth which will bring together multiple units to train collaboratively in preparation for CSG21. On completion of Exercise Joint Warrior both 211 and 617 Squadrons will return to RAF Marham where they will then prepare to take part in a further exercise, Crimson Warrior which will allow the F-35’s to conduct high end training, alongside other platforms, in a contested and degraded environment with this years focus being on M
Ministry of Defence

US F-35 jets arrive at RAF Marham

Aircraft from V Marine Fighter Attack (VMFA) – 211 Squadron arrived at RAF Marham 03 Mar 20 to start their UK detachment. The ten F-35B jets flew from their base in Yuma, Arizona via MCAS Beaufort to visit the UK for the first time. The US Marine Corps Squadron will be working alongside 617 Squadron ahead of a Group Exercise [Read More …]

On 1st September 2020, Royal Air Force Typhoon aircraft departed Siauliai Air Base in Lithuania after completing the NATO Baltic Air Policing Mission. The Typhoon fighter jets, from No. 6 Squadron RAF Lossiemouth have been in Lithuania for 4 months on Operation AZOTIZE, and have been supported by the Royal Air Force 135 Expeditionary Wing at Siauliai Air Base. Op AZOTIZE is the UK's contribution to the NATO Baltic Air Policing mission ensuring the security of the skies above Lithuania the other Baltic States. RAF Typhoons of No.6 Squadron, from RAF Lossiemouth, are working alongside a detachment of Spanish F-18 fighters of Ejercito Del Aire.
Ministry of Defence

THE ROYAL AIR FORCE COMPLETE THIS YEARS NATO AIR POLICING MISSION

On 1st September 2020, Royal Air Force Typhoon aircraft departed Siauliai Air Base in Lithuania after completing the NATO Baltic Air Policing Mission. The Typhoon fighter jets, from No. 6 Squadron RAF Lossiemouth have been in Lithuania for 4 months on Operation AZOTIZE, and have been supported by the Royal Air Force 135 Expeditionary Wing at Siauliai Air Base. Op [Read More …]

Soldiers from 47th Regiment Royal Artillery conducting final checks on the runway before flight, seen here at Lydd Airport in Kent today (29/08/2020). Watchkeeper is an uncrewed aircraft system with a range of intelligence and reconnaissance cameras and sensors, including a state-of-the-art surveillance radar. It lets the Army see things up to 200km away and helps keep our troops safe. It gathers information, such as spotting enemy activity, during the day and at night. It is built in the UK, and has been used successfully in Afghanistan, where it played a crucial protective role for British troops. Since the first flight in 2010, Watchkeeper has accumulated over 3,000 flying hours. A divisional level intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) asset, Watchkeeper can collect, process and disseminate high quality imagery intelligence to support the needs of the commander on the ground. Watchkeeper is an autonomous system that always requires a ‘human in the loop’ to authorise all aspect of its operations. It is built to operate in range of ground and air conditions and is equipped to support a wide range of military and security missions. The system has a range of sensors and infra-red full motion video cameras, able to operate at day and night. Identifying assets on the ground is a primary function of Watchkeeper and it is fitted with radar technology and a ground movement target indicator. Within Watchkeeper’s laser sub-system are a separate target marker, designator, and range finder to assist in identifying different assets. The Watchkeeper system was built in the UK by Thales, with a UK supply chain supporting British manufacturing jobs. The system has undergone rigorous flight testing in west Wales and is certified to operate safely in UK airspace. With Watchkeeper primarily operating in the land environment, it is the Army, rather than the RAF, who are responsible for operating the aircraft.
Ministry of Defence

Watchkeeper UAV carries out first reconnaissance sortie in support of the UK Border Force

Soldiers from 47th Regiment Royal Artillery conducting final checks on the runway before flight, seen here at Lydd Airport in Kent today (29/08/2020). Watchkeeper is an uncrewed aircraft system with a range of intelligence and reconnaissance cameras and sensors, including a state-of-the-art surveillance radar. It lets the Army see things up to 200km away and helps keep our troops safe. [Read More …]

Image shows Voyager ZZ334 airborne over the North Sea while conducting aerial refuelling training with Hercules ZH888. A C-130J Hercules flown by Number 24 Squadron recently took part in an aerial-refuelling training sortie off of the North-East coast of England. The sortie gave three pilots and an instructor the chance to maintain essential currencies that will allow them to complete aerial-refuelling on future taskings in support of the Royal Air Force. Once the crew brought the Hercules up to 20,000 feet, they then rendezvoused with a Voyager, flown by 10/101 Squadron, and conducted a number of refuelling serials. This included live refuelling along with dry contacts. They also conducted fuelling while banking behind the Voyager. The aircraft spent six hours in the air, with multiple serials completed by the crews before both aircraft returned back to RAF Brize Norton, home of both the Hercules and Voyager force. This was all captured by two Joint Air Delivery Test and Evaluation Unit photographers.
Ministry of Defence

24 Squadron Aerial Refuelling Sortie

Image shows Voyager ZZ334 airborne over the North Sea while conducting aerial refuelling training with Hercules ZH888. A C-130J Hercules flown by Number 24 Squadron recently took part in an aerial-refuelling training sortie off of the North-East coast of England. The sortie gave three pilots and an instructor the chance to maintain essential currencies that will allow them to complete [Read More …]

A giant Antonov AN-124 cargo aircraft touched down at Glasgow Prestwick Airport on Monday (17/08/2020) to make an oversized delivery of a new Operational Flight Trainer (OFT) heading to RAF Lossiemouth. The simulator is one of two that will be installed in the new £100-million strategic facility built by Boeing Defence UK. From Autumn 2020, RAF Lossiemouth will be the headquarters of the UK’s submarine-hunting Poseidon MRA Mk1 Maritime Patrol Aircraft fleet. The first simulator will be offloaded from the specially chartered Antonov - which took off from Orlando, Florida - and transported by road to RAF Lossiemouth, where it arrived in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The simulators and new facility managed by Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) are part of a £470m UK Government investment in the coastal RAF base in Moray, north-east Scotland.
Ministry of Defence

GIANT CARGO AIRCRAFT DELIVERS NEW RAF LOSSIEMOUTH SIMULATOR

A giant Antonov AN-124 cargo aircraft touched down at Glasgow Prestwick Airport on Monday (17/08/2020) to make an oversized delivery of a new Operational Flight Trainer (OFT) heading to RAF Lossiemouth. The simulator is one of two that will be installed in the new £100-million strategic facility built by Boeing Defence UK. From Autumn 2020, RAF Lossiemouth will be the [Read More …]