Two quick reaction alert Typhoons from RAF Coningsby have conducted a scramble exercise with their French counterparts, where they worked together to intercept, identify and escort a simulated enemy aircraft.
The Royal Air Force say here that this is part of a regular series of exercises to ensure that fighter jets on both sides of the Channel are always ready to respond and operate together at a moment’s notice.
“The RAF and French Air Force pilots were given no notice and had to launch their aircraft within minutes. As part of a coordinated response with specialists across both air forces, they were then required to intercept, identify and escort an aircraft simulating a threat from a foreign military.
Initially the French Rafale / Mirage 2000 fighters escorted the simulated enemy aircraft through their airspace. As the enemy aircraft began to approach UK airspace, the French air force conducted a handover of escorting duties to the RAF Typhoons. This required close cooperation with multiple agencies to ensure a safe and seamless transition.
Later in the exercise the enemy aircraft turned back towards France and the French Air Force resumed escort duties. To ensure the fighter jets could remain on the task, an RAF Voyager was launched from RAF Brize Norton to provide air-to-air refuelling for the jets.”
The RAF maintains a pool of quick reaction alert Typhoons at readiness 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to respond to intercept, identify and, if required, intervene unidentified, uncooperative, or un-notified aircraft approaching the UK.