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British combat aircraft will take part in a series of military exercises with allies in the far east this year.

Chief of the Air Staff Sir Stephen Hillier said:

“This exercise is tremendously important and it demonstrates that even though the Royal Air Force is committed to operations in the Middle East and elsewhere.

We still have the capability to deploy effectively to the other side of the world, with both Typhoons, supporting Voyagers and air transport, and the Red Arrows as well. This reinforces the message that the UK is a globally-engaged player with global power, reinforcing our relationship with allies, and also promoting UK prosperity.”

Exercise Eastern Venture (what the RAF are calling the deployment) begins with Typhoon aircraft deploying from RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland to Malaysia and Singapore, for training as part of the Five Power Defence Arrangement between the UK, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.

Aircraft and crews will also participate in a series of exercises in Japan and the Republic of Korea before returning to the UK in November.

The Red Arrows will visit many countries for a series of displays and flypasts, including key events in India, China and the United Arab Emirates.

The deployment will be supported by Voyager Air-to-Air Refuelling, C-17 Globemaster and C-130J Hercules transport aircraft.

Commenting on the forthcoming deployment, Sir Stephen Hillier said:

“This exercise is tremendously important and it demonstrates that even though the Royal Air Force is committed to operations in the Middle East and elsewhere, we still have the capability to deploy effectively to the other side of the world, with both Typhoons, supporting Voyagers and air transport, and the Red Arrows as well.

This reinforces the message that the UK is a globally-engaged player with global power, reinforcing our relationship with partners, and also promoting UK prosperity.”

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:

“Japan is our closest security partner in Asia and I want to significantly deepen defence cooperation between our two nations.

We will do that through joint exercises, reciprocal access to our military bases, military personnel exchanges and cooperation on equipment, including a new air-to-air missile.”

The exercises with Japan and South Korea are in part designed to counter the rising threats from North Korea’s intensified nuclear and missile tests, according to local media.

The South Korean Air Force said in a statement that the exercise will be conducted between the 4th and 10th of November at Osan Air Base. Exercise Invincible Shield will involve a combined aerial exercise, “the first of its kind” the statement added.

Britain is planning to send four Typhoon jets, a Voyager tanker aircraft and C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft to take part in the exercise.

South Korea will deploy F-15K and KF-16 fighters and the US will send F-16 fighters, the statement added.

British Typhoon combat aircraft are also heading to Japan to join the first-ever UK-Japan joint fighter exercise.

Four Typhoons from No. 2 (AC) Squadron will be visiting Japan with Voyager and C-17 aircraft. The JASDF will be participating with F-2 and F-15 fighter aircraft.

According to a press release, the Chief of Staff of the Japanese Air Self Defence Force, General Yoshiyuki Sugiyama, announced that the first-ever UK-Japan Fighter Exercise would be hosted at JASDF Misawa Air Base from mid-October to early November.

This is the first time the JASDF has hosted an exercise with a foreign nation other than the United States. The far east exercise will be aimed at enhancing interoperability to deepen the UK and Japan’s partnership in security and defence.

Earlier in the year it was revealed that Japan and the UK are moving forward with efforts to develop a new joint air-to-air missile.

The project is understood to be supported by a successfully conducted project to integrate Japanese seeker technologies into MBDA’s Meteor Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile.

Meteor is an active radar guided beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile being developed by MBDA. Meteor will offer a multi-shot capability against long range manoeuvring targets in a heavy electronic countermeasures environment with range in excess of 100km.

MBDA is planning integration of Meteor on the Lockheed Martin F-35 Block 4. The Meteor has already been checked for fit in the internal weapons bays of the JSF. It is compatible with the aircraft’s internal air-to-ground stations, but would require modification of the fin span and air intakes to be compatible with the air-to-air stations.

It is understood that it is in this context, MBDA has agreed to jointly research a new seeker with Japan.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:

“Japan is our closest security partner in Asia and I want to significantly deepen defence cooperation between our two nations.

We will do that through joint exercises, reciprocal access to our military bases, military personnel exchanges and cooperation on equipment, including a new air-to-air missile.”

According to the MoD, the joint exercise has been named ‘GUARDIAN NORTH 16’ to represent the role of the JASDF and RAF as the guardians of security and the exercise area of Northern Japan.

 

2 COMMENTS

  1. Thank You RAF ! It is great having you back in the Far East and SEA, to keep as here lead a secure life. Your active sincere commitment in SEA can never be forgotten. Especially in the training of SEAsian people to set up our own air forces. Also in the setting up of the Five Power Defence Arrangement that’s active till today. Bless you all esteemed airmen of the RAF.

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