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Royal Air Force Typhoons arrive in Saudi Arabia for large scale multinational air exercise

RAF Coningsby based Typhoons from XI (Fighter) Squadron have arrived in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to join this year’s Spears of Victory exercise being held at the King Abdulaziz Air Base.

RAF aircraft on the runway.

Personnel from across the RAF have deployed on this large scale, Saudi hosted multinational air warfare training exercise. The RAF are joining participants from several branches of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s military, as well as contingents from Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, France, Greece, Pakistan, and the US.

“Spears of Victory 24 is an extremely important training opportunity for our force enablers to work alongside strategic partners in the region to demonstrate the Combat Air capacity of our highly trained pilots and engineers in the Typhoon Force. Now, as much as never before, we strive for excellence in air dominance – collaborating with allies that have come together in a demonstration of their commitment to stability in the Broader Middle East."

Squadron Leader Hodgkinson
UK Detachment Commander

Three Typhoons flying with mountains in the background

In addition to the RAF Typhoons taking part in this year’s exercise, the Royal Saudi Air Force will be flying their Typhoons, Tornados and F-15s.  F-16s are taking part from Bahrain, Greece, and the UAE.  The Saudi F-15s will be joined by others from Qatar.  The French Air and Space detachment will be contributing Rafales, and the Pakistan Air Force will be flying their JF-17s. The Royal Air Force of Oman will also be flying Typhoons.

F16 from UAE

"The welcome at King Abdulaziz Air Base and the support in country has been fantastic and the facilities here will allow us to really make the most of this opportunity. We look forward to a busy deployment, operating at a high tempo alongside our international colleagues; I am confident the whole detachment will learn a great deal from the Exercise."

Squadron Leader Hodgkinson
UK Detachment Commander

The United States Detachment is not flying this year, but instead has committed a mixed unit of National Guardsmen to provide a range of ground support activities, including Fire Fighters Security, and logisticians to support the exercise.

Air to air refuelling taking place.

During the exercise the nations will be conducting defensive counter air and offensive counter air operations, as well as air interdiction training against live and simulated threats. The objective being to test the reactions of pilots in a variety of situations in a challenging air environment.

Qatari F15 on the ground

In addition to the large number of fast jets involved, the exercise will be supported by various other Transport, Tanker and Airborne Early Warning Systems aircraft plus helicopters to deliver each day’s training scenarios. 

Command and Control, mission planning and integration training provided by the exercise will assure a high level of training for all participants.  The exercise will also feature both real and simulated air defences and each nation will fly as ‘aggressors’ during the exercise.

Typhoon taking off with mountains in the background

The exercise is designed to increase the tactical proficiency of all participating nations. Working together, the exercise develops participating nations' ability to plan and execute complex missions together, in a contested air environment.