Royal Air Force (RAF) Eurofighter Typhoons from RAF Lossiemouth have completed a proof of concept exercise in Norway to test tactical refuelling capabilities from the ground. The Typhoons were supported by a RAF A400M and Voyager transport aircraft, from RAF Brize Norton, that flew to Bodø Main Air Station Norway to test the concept. The exercise involved establishing a self-sufficient, multi-skilled, RAF team that was embedded within the Royal Norwegian Air Force base. The team would then be capable of conducting Air Operations at short notice and away from the Typhoons main operating base in Scotland.
“This was an excellent opportunity for the RAF to operate alongside one of our NATO partners. This integrated activity demonstrated our ability to deploy, integrate and recover our assets in an agile, short notice manner. This small footprint strengthens the flexible employment of Air Power across the NATO partnership,” said Air Vice-Marshal Ian Duguid, Air Officer Commanding 11 Group, UK’s Global Air Component Commander.
“This bilateral training improves the speed at which highly capable Air Forces, across the NATO partnership, can deliver decisive Air Power from several dispersed locations. Therefore, enforcing a more agile, and integrated, approach with our Allies. The joint training conducted by both the Royal Norwegian Air Force and the RAF strengthens the effectiveness of NATO Air Power,” said Colonel John Olsen, Norwegian Defence Attaché UK.
The exercise was one of the first in a series of exercises developing the interoperability skills needed to work with NATO Allies from multiple dispersed locations at short notice. A key element of the concept is the ability to tactically refuel Typhoons from the ground, which is needed to achieve the dispersed operation of the aircraft. As part of the exercise, the opportunity was also taken by the Typhoon pilots to further develop and practise joint tactics and procedures as part of ongoing integration training with two F-16 fighter aircraft from Royal Norwegian Air Force base, over the Norwegian Sea.