13 Sep 2019

RAF Typhoon jets head East for Middle Eastern tour

RAF Typhoon jets from RAF Coningsby have set off for a four-month operation in the Middle East including a training exercise in Oman.

The RAF Typhoon jets will tour the Middle East for four months from RAF Coningsby. The jets will start the tour with a two-week ‘live’ weapons exercise in the deserts in Oman before heading to Malaysia at the end of the month for a multi-national exercise.

Personnel and Typhoons from the Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) will join the RAF for the exercise, which aims to acclimatise pilots to tough conditions. The RAF Coningsby team will be joined by personnel from RAF Wittering, RAF Leeming, RAF Brize Norton, and RAF Spadeham in Cumbria.

Officer Commanding 3(Fighter) Squadron Wing Commander Steve Kenworthy said: “The exercise will focus heavily on Close Air Support training scenarios operating with both UK and Omani Joint Tactical Air Controllers and employing live Paveway IV and 27 mm strafe weapons, as well as conducting Combined Air Operations training.”

“The topography and climate of Oman offer ideal training conditions for both the pilots and engineers of 3(F) Squadron ahead of their operational deployment in support of Op SHADER next year.”

“The opportunity to train and socialise with our RAFO colleagues provides an additional exciting and rewarding dimension to the exercise which I am sure will reinforce the strong and profound partnership between the UK and Oman that has endured for many years.”

The operation will be supported by mobile catering squadrons from RAF Wittering, air-to-air refuelling and transporter aircraft from RAF Brize Norton, and 90 signals unit from RAF Leeming to secure IT and communications. A specialist team from RAF Spadeham will provide targets for the typhoons on the ground.

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