British Typhoon fighter jets undertook “rare and extremely valuable” one-on-one Dissimilar Air Combat Training, often referred to as dog-fighting, with French Rafale jets.

According to the Royal Air Force here, RAF Typhoons have been conducting combat air training with Rafale fighter jets from the French Air and Space Force, flying from their base locations around the Eastern Mediterranean.

“Royal Air Force Typhoons from 903 Expeditionary Air Wing in Cyprus conducted joint training with French Rafale multi-role fighter jets flown by the Air and Space Force based in the Middle East. Carrying out bilateral air-to-air combat training over the Eastern Mediterranean, the fighters were supported by air-to-air refuelling from an RAF Voyager, also from 903 Expeditionary Air Wing.

The aircraft undertook rare and extremely valuable one-on-one Dissimilar Air Combat Training, often referred to as dog-fighting, with the Rafales. The RAF Voyager tanker extended the time-on-task for the fighters, thus elongating the training opportunity to further improve proficiency.”

Wing Commander Frazer, Commanding Officer of 903 Expeditionary Air Wing, was quoted as saying:

“Building on the previous mission carried out in December 2021, this activity remains fundamental to furthering both nations’ interoperability goals. In addition to some very valuable flying, the operation sends a strong strategic message that we remain in the Eastern Mediterranean as a valuable member of both the counter-Daesh mission and other NATO operations, ready and able to work seamlessly with our many partners in the region.”

You can read more here.

George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. He also works for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
40 Comments
oldest
newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Marked
Marked
1 day ago

If its that valuable then there is no justifiable reason for it being rare! Its not like the raf have to fly half way round the globe for this sort of training.

Mark Franks
Mark Franks
1 day ago
Reply to  Marked

903 expeditionary air Wing are based in Cyprus and operate out of Akrotiri. I don’t understand the article either the RAF and the French Air Force and Space Force regularly conduct training together. In light of recent developments in Ukraine it seems new tactics are being developed and weapon systems trialled.

Darren hall
Darren hall
9 hours ago
Reply to  Marked

Unfortunately the rareness comes down to having available aircraft to conduct the DACT, both within our force and the OpFor. I think this is of note, just because both units involved are already deployed to the Eastmed.

John Stott
John Stott
1 day ago

It is not rare and happens a lot. The French Air Force were quick off the blocks in 82 and offered DACT to Sea Harriers against Mirages before they went down south. Most “friendly” nations undertake DACT with peers.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 day ago
Reply to  John Stott

Maybe it was the specifics of the training that are rare not the over all DACT. would need to look into it more.
Anyway great news. Train for the worst and hope for the best.
Cyprus has had aircraft deployed to it for quite a few years constantly now. Would be a nice deployment for personnel and families.

John Stott
John Stott
20 hours ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

I loved a few years ago when four Indian SU 27’s played with Typhoons over Holbeach. They had “agreed” with the Russians not to use their radars whilst in the UK. The USAF were flying all kinds of kit with sticky out bits to try and garner any info.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 day ago

Why is dog-fighting now called ‘one-on-one Dissimilar Air Combat Training’?
What makes it ‘dissimilar’?
Do RAF and FAA fast jet pilots practice dog-fighting on the ground in simulators?

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
1 day ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

It’s called dissimilar air combat because it’s against a different aircraft type. Rather than a Typhoon fighting against another Typhoon.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
1 day ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Because dog fighting sounds visceral and has always been understood, whilst the official definition will leave folk asking exactly the same as you. Folk always assumed it referred to dissimilar aircraft e.g. an enemy! 🙂

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
1 day ago

Well, who won?

Did the Typhoons ‘shoot down’ the Raphale jets?

David Barry
David Barry
1 day ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Something we’ll never know the answer too! Unfortunately.

Expat
Expat
1 day ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

My understanding is if the rules of engagement allowed the Typhoon to fly high it would out perform the Rafale but at lower altitudes the Rafale has the advantage.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
1 day ago
Reply to  Expat

Growling Sidewinder’s not a bad U Tube site. Though computer gaming it does help with the tech terms as well.

DaveyB
DaveyB
20 hours ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Its not great. The dynamics and kinematics of both ASRAAM and Meteor are incorrect. But then if you put them right, it would kill off the game.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
8 hours ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Morning. Are you talking purely BVR, Davey i.e. that is the most likely combat scenario ‘real life’? Accept that, though BVR is occasionally covered, the game usually agrees dogfight merge for just your reason (sometimes ‘restricted’ to guns only, of course *). Also aware missile parameters are in reality jealously guarded. Main usefulness, to me at least, is the technical expressions and, yes, ‘idea’ of who has advantage high / low; 1 / 2 circle; etc. Better than the no info we generally get from these exercises (naturally enough). All taken with a dose of salt. Most extreme example *… Read more »

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
7 hours ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Reminds me of the Binbrook trials when the RAF were worried about whether it’s Lightnings could take out Mustangs in the Malaysia conflict and they had to develop tactics to do so.

DaveyB
DaveyB
5 hours ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

I will keep performance data out of the conversation. With respect to WVR, in the game they’ve made ASRAAM’s range similar to AIM-9X. In real life it’s not! ASRAAM has a bigger and longer burn duration rocket motor. So not only is it a lot faster to the target, but it also has significantly longer range. It’s why CAMM is based on it after all. ASRAAM has both lock on before launch (LOBL) and lock on after launch (LOAL) modes. It’s all aspect seeker has full hemispheric coverage. This when married to the pilot’s helmet sight, has changed how dogfighting… Read more »

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
7 seconds ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Much appreciated. I will take time to digest.
Many thanks

DaveyB
DaveyB
20 hours ago
Reply to  Expat

Not any more. Block 6 ASRAAM has massively levelled the playing field.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
7 hours ago
Reply to  Expat

Yes my understanding too, the higher it gets the more the balance changes but I guess it’s a generalisation.

Gareth
Gareth
1 day ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

In exercises like these it’s probably almost as valuable to lose occasionally so that mistakes can be learned from and skill honed before having to do it for real. Armed forces going into combat with an abundance of hubris and a deficit of training experience probably end up looking…well…a bit like the Russians do in Ukraine at the moment.

DaveyB
DaveyB
5 hours ago
Reply to  Gareth

But the Russians don’t really play against other forces, that use different tactics. They recently held exercises with the Chinese. Who based their tactics on Soviet doctrine. NATO is a big partnership, made up with countries who have different ideas on how to do the same job. This means nobody quite plays in the same way. Which helps in forming tactics against unfamiliar opponents.

Martin
Martin
1 day ago

Apparently the UK and Japan are about to merge fighters programs, hope it’s true. Japan is the only country worth working with at scale and if NGAD is not available for export Tempest could be a real export winner.

https://www.reuters.com/business/aerospace-defense/exclusive-britain-japan-aim-merge-tempest-f-x-fighter-programmes-sources-2022-07-14/

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 day ago
Reply to  Martin

That really would be good news. Tempest needs to happen for the future of our aerospace industry. Wonder what Germany would think if it did ! Wouldn’t let them join mind. They deserve the French ! I know harsh but true. 😁😁

Martin
Martin
22 hours ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Yeah the two biggest problem nations in European defence were always going to be toxic. It’s the Spanish I feel sorry for. The Germans can fall back on F35 but god knows what the French will do. No 5th gen and then no 6th gen fighter.

DaveyB
DaveyB
20 hours ago
Reply to  Martin

Buy British!

Rob N
Rob N
10 hours ago
Reply to  Martin

They would do what they did with Eurofighter, they wold build their own plane. What ever it was they would call it 6th gen. For the French they must have an EU solution and they would not buy British on principle.

Martin
Martin
9 hours ago
Reply to  Rob N

I’m not sure they have the budgets any more, Rafale decimated the French defence budget for years. Running up against US product and a Anglo Japanese export option will be very difficult as well.

Cdk
Cdk
8 hours ago
Reply to  Martin

The Rafales have recently risen sales and and proven to be a formidable 4.5 gen fighter jet.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
6 hours ago
Reply to  Martin

Indeed reading up on the US 6th Gen program, even they are struggling to grasp the prospective costs of their project. This will be the best chance for Tempest to not only happen but happen to a very high and competitive level within an acceptable timeline. Hopefully it will encourage Italy and Sweden and indeed others to commit to the project as it starts to look rather more airworthy than the alternative. We may get a hint at Farnborough but Christmas is what I read as a more likely timescale to announce something. I wonder also if the other development… Read more »

Martin
Martin
6 hours ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

At the moment the only two engine improvements appear to be adaptive fan engines and electrical generation via fan blade magnets. However both of these are also being considered for 4th and 5th gen aircraft as retro fits. There are likely two factors that will define a 6th gen aircraft. One is all aspect stealth derived from a tailless design and the other is the ability to operate at speed in excess of Mach 3 and possibly hypersonic. If Tempest does not have one of these then we are at severe risk of repeating the mistakes of Eurofighter and producing… Read more »

DaveyB
DaveyB
4 hours ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

It will be a given, that the Tempest engine will be a combined cycle engine. Where it can operate as a low(ish) by-pass turbofan, then at height operate as a turbojet. But to get it past Mach 2.5, it really needs to be a hybrid engine. Where it combines a turbojet with a ramjet. You can make a turbojet operate up to Mach 3. But in doing so it becomes horrendously inefficient. This is due to the engine’s compressor acting as an air dam. As the air can’t pass through it quickly enough, so it stacks up in front of… Read more »

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
7 hours ago
Reply to  Martin

Yes mentioned this yesterday on another thread it’s the best news that could be for both the project and UK defence and projects generally. It will certainly blow wind up the French and Germans disintegrating cooperation. I think UK and Japan in defence have strengths and weaknesses that compliment each other and if we can make it work it will be a great opportunity for many other projects too I suspect. Interesting to note the US offer was the F22 airframe as a base but they wanted almost complete control how where and when it could be maintained. I think… Read more »

Martin
Martin
7 hours ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

I think all nations have see what happened to the UK over the F35 and drawn the same conclusion, there is no such thing as defence cooperation with the USA. The UK was placated with a decent work share but our Tier 1 partner status is irrelevant in what’s purely described as a US aircraft. The only downside with Japan as a partner is a lack of experience in defence exports especially constitutional issues and a terrible domestic legacy on licence production of US aircraft. However they can match us for defence spending and they have some very interesting tech… Read more »

Peter Crisp
Peter Crisp
1 day ago

So, lots of cobra manouvers and random flat spins from the edge of space I assume while Danger Zone blares out constantly.
I wonder how many times the tower got buzzed?

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
1 day ago
Reply to  Peter Crisp

No

Peter Crisp
Peter Crisp
23 hours ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Are you saying Top Gun lied to us all?
That’s a very serious accusation.
Mr Cruise spent years researching the role to make it 100% realistic.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
8 hours ago
Reply to  Peter Crisp

Ha, Not with Typhoon or Rafale !!
Cheers, Peter

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
1 day ago

Good to see. BVR is the baseline air defence requirement, and likely the best bet where opposing forces are relatively few in number. Multiply those numbers and factor in closing speeds and I’m sure you’ll soon get to mix it at close quarters as in the past.

Essexman
Essexman
6 hours ago

The French do not have any FAF bases in the Eastern Med!
The South of France or the Middle East are the nearest FAF to Cyprus.
Very misleading. Just checked it out myself!