British Typhoons linked up with French Rafale and Mirage aircraft to intercept a simulated non-NATO military aircraft entering British airspace.

In a news release, found here, the Royal Air Force say that the key objective of the scramble was to exercise and practice NATO Long Range Aviation procedures within the UK and French Flight Information Regions (FIR) and develop the tactical co-ordination involved with international cross-FIR border operations.

Air Vice-Marshal Ian Duguid, Air Officer Commanding Number 11 Group, was quoted as saying:

“This enhanced air security training with France is a demonstration of our close co-operation and interoperability with our NATO partners. This week’s exercise is a timely demonstration of the ever closer, effective partnership between the RAF and French Air Force who, as NATO allies, continue air policing tasks and operations in Mali and in the Levant. Exercising together this week has demonstrated a new level of enhanced air security training.

It is not only about our shared fast jet capability; the role of enablers such as the Voyager air-to-air refuelling plays a vital role supporting the protection of our skies. We look forward to repeating these exercises twice each year in order to train with our close allies and exercise the tactical co-ordination involved with international cross border operations.”

Image Crown Copyright 2020.

It is understood that the scenario simulated the tracking of aircraft crossing into the UK FIR and the theoretical scramble of the UK’s QRA North based at RAF Lossiemouth, before conducting a fighter-to-fighter handover with aircraft scrambled from RAF Coningsby. French QRA also scrambled to track the aircraft, and a Voyager from RAF Brize Norton supported the exercise with air-to-air refuelling.

You can read more here.

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John Clark

An excellent example of how we work closely with our French colleagues and friends!

Don’t believe all the political spin about us at each others throats, that’s just political dick waving from a political elite on both sides of the divide that will be gone in 5 years.

These defence relationships transcend all that crap….


I think the dick waving has been going on since the ‘100 years war’….it’s a national hobby on both sides of La Manche.


Hello John, Herodotus. Agree entirely. The French are close friends and allies and as the pre-eminent military powers in Europe(Russia is half Europe,Half asia) we make a formidable team. I am however deeply saddened by the collateral damage that Brexit has caused to our Entente cordiale-in fact am deeply saddened by the damage it has done to our United Kingdom, particularly by giving the SNP a perfect excuse to renege on their once in a lifetime promise from 2014. The die is cast now and we have to make the best deal going forward. I only hope that when it… Read more »


SNP need to understand that the 2014 ref result will stand for a generation otherwise they are being undemocratic ,simple as that.

Paul C

Sturgeon will argue they were referring to a goldfish generation.


Well she would have the Goldfish voting if she could…

Sceptical Richard

Completely agree with all of the above Geoff, and with John.

John Clark

Re indy ref 2, Boris has to find a pair and just say ‘NO’.

Once in a lifetime means 25-30 years, if they give in and say Yes and they loose again, the SNP will dream up another excuse as to ‘why it wasn’t fair’.

They just want to keep having votes until Scotland give the answer they want.

I think its odd that the only voice we hear from Scotland today is the SNP going on and on and bloody on …. Strange how the lame stream media only give them air time, balanced BBC, my arse!.

John Clark

Any hoo, pause for breath, rant over and a very happy Christmas to all!


Thank you John, for saying Happy Christmas – instead of Happy Holidays. Not defence related I know but it boils my blood that in this day and age, we have to pander to the snowflakes out there who are soooooo offended by Christmas! They don’t have to celebrate it – that’s their right – but it doesn’t change the fact it’s CHRISTMAS!

Ok, rant over! – PHEW!


It’s the Americans that say Happy Holidays.

Paul C

Agreed. Brexit has seriously damaged our international reputation and those responsible for this slow-motion car crash have a lot to answer for. I hope I am wrong but unfortunately the odds now seem to be against the UK remaining intact. If so, France and Germany will be the main European military powers. Whatever remains of the UK is destined to be sidelined by the US also and forced to play a secondary role. All very sad but maybe inevitable now.


Not quite, as I believe, that no matter what the Germans would want to be, they will never be the lead nation for going on offensive kinetic operations, or heading up a NATO tasking. The French, yes, but no matter what happens we will not be sidelined or made to play a secondary role, in the context of military planning, defense and operations. The assets and contribution we play (even in the current defence situation we find ourselves in) are to big, effective and available to be ignored. Our European NATO friends know our experience and capabilites, and will not… Read more »

Paul C

Much depends upon the economic impact of Brexit, fallout from the Covid-19 crisis and whether or not the UK can remain united. Whatever the historical and current position re. our military role there can be no guarantees for the future. Let us hope that worst case scenarios do not come to pass and in the meantime have a good Christmas.


As normal we work seemlessly with the French, with the same aim. The French military and ours are on the same page with the same (current) aims and intentions. The one fly in the (superficial) ointment is the usual political claptrap chuff coming from the various French politicians and their domestic agendas. Got to say, Macron is showing himself to be a bit of a dick.


Yes because the UK politicians never do the exact same shite…

Mark B

For once I agree with you. It is probably all politicians. Part of the game. I’m guessing the Irish politicians are no different. Perhaps it is the sign of a healthy democracy.


They do, but I was talking about Macron and the French. When I mention UK Politicians I will be saying the same. Same as Irish ones…..

Mark B

This seems to be normal behaviour. Now it is the French over fish, Spanish over Gibraltar, Americans over whatever is annoying Trump during the last five minutes however (correct me if I am wrong) the military and other strands of the state machinery continue working together as if nothing had happened. Military cooperation is for the long term whilst political stories are will be wrapping up tomorrows cod and chips!


Don’t mention cod Mark🙂


Spot on!

John Clark

Absolutely, you have Trump going crazy and still refusing to admit he’s lost! Macron standing on his soap box, desperately trying to look Napoleonic towards the ‘old enemy’ whilst watching his re-election chances slipping away …. The cynical French aren’t buying it!! The EU running in circles starting to panic at the thought of a no deal Brexit and Boris trying to deal with multiple existential crisis points at the same time!!! Everyone being hammered by Covid 19 2020, what a bloody year! All the back biting politics aside, the UK,USA and France are still the rock solid world Policemen,… Read more »


France defending the UK – this has GOT to be a wind up. France – a country that has NEVER paid its WW1 debts to the UK (by my calcs earlier this year it would be around $250bn in todays terms). France – a country that went Vichy (and wouldn’t surrender its fleet or even send it to a neutral country in 1940). France – a country that had a hissy with NATO in the early 60’s. France – a country that wouldn’t back the UK in the Stena affair. As Charles Harington said after the Battle of Kemmelberg –… Read more »

John Clark

A bit harsh old school! To be fair, we can quite legitimately claim their efforts as a country in WW2 were, shall we say … questionable, but, let’s focus on the last 30 years. We have enjoyed an increasingly cordial and friendly relationship with our French friends and colleagues. This has nothing to do with the EU, it’s a mutually agreeable defence and security situation, partially mandated by post cold war defence cuts on both sides of the ditch, forcing us to work together. The UK and France are also ‘far’ closer politically than they have ever been and we… Read more »


I understand where you’re coming from JC. But when we wanted some back up over the Stena ( which recall was cos the US asked Gibraltar to err enforce EU sanctions) they hung us out to dry. This from a country who insisted that on leaving the EU we owed them money whilst convienintly ( i cant spell thst i know😅) forgetting the huge cost they owed ùs ( and as for Germany’s war debt – well what can i say – hypocrites both of them).


If the French really owe us that much, Boris should hand the UK divorce bill to the Macaroon and tell him to pay it to the EU from what they owe us. I’d bet the divorce bill would have been a lot lower if we’d taken that tack, and even though we’d still have ended up paying it, at least the French might have had the grace to shut up during the process. Nevertheless, I’m grateful that both our militaries seem to have their heads screwed on the right way. It might be that, for all the huge damage “call… Read more »