A British Typhoon fighter has landed on a road in Finland as part of an exercise.

The demonstration was part of efforts to develop RAF plans to be able to deploy the jets from dispersed locations.

The RAF’s overarching goal with such exercises aligns with the strategy of Agile Combat Employment (ACE). ACE necessitates that RAF personnel and assets remain flexible and agile.

As the RAF said previously, this strategy requires “operating in austere locations with minimal support, constantly moving and changing location to maintain the initiative, and outpace any action from an adversary whether in the UK or overseas alongside our NATO and Joint Expeditionary Force partners.”

Recently, as part of these efforts, Royal Air Force Typhoons were involved in an unexpected relocation exercise to bolster the resilience of UK’s air defence.

RAF Typhoons relocate in surprise dispersal exercise

As part of Exercise Agile Pirate, four Typhoons from XI(F) Squadron at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire received sudden orders to transfer to MOD Boscombe Down in Wiltshire.

Wing Commander Paul Hanson, Detachment Commander, reflected on the nature of the exercise: “Moving at pace presents its own challenges and we have pushed some assumptions to move even faster. Agile Combat Employment will change our current mindset and way of operating, and I think in many ways it will bring the very best out in our people; ready to deploy at shorter notice, taking part in more novel activity, and operating without the usual support structures of a main operating base.”

In readiness, the Typhoons were stationed in secure aircraft shelters. Upon receiving a scramble call from Tactical Air Command and Control (Tac Air C2), they were airborne within minutes.

You can read more by clicking here.

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval defence technology and cyber security matters. George is also an employee of NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde and works in a hospital setting.
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Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
2 months ago

This great to practice. Hopefully they can practice having the full crews, fuel trucks, weapons able to turn the aircraft round.
Getting typhoon the ability to do this is important. I’ve heard the a lot of jets depend on large equipment at large bases to keep the aircraft flying. The gripen was made to be able to disperse from the start.
Hopefully tempest and the drones will have dispersal and ease of turn around built in as big airbases are extremely vulnerable

Mark B
Mark B
2 months ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Can Russia do sometihng similar I wonder?

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
2 months ago
Reply to  Mark B

The mig29 has intake covers to make it more rugged and Soviet aircraft were meant to be easier to maintain. How that actually works in practice with the hodgepodge of aircraft Russia has now is anyone’s guess.
Just put tyres on it instead🙈

Andrew D
Andrew D
2 months ago

Not sure but last time the RAF were taking off roads was back in the day with Jaguars in the UK and Germany .But well done to the RAF SQN doing this with Typhoons has Jags were built in mind for this type of situation don’t think it was ever intended for Typhoons .But with lack of AD to procet airfields it makes good sense 👍 🇬🇧 🇫🇮

Joe16
Joe16
2 months ago
Reply to  Andrew D

Looking at what’s going on in Ukraine, with the quantities of missiles and drones that the Russians are using in their strikes on the Ukrainian air bases, GBAD just won’t be able to keep up- only reduce the damage.
Dispersal and austere operating, what the RAF is practicing here, is what has keep the Ukrainian Air Force in the fight.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
2 months ago
Reply to  Joe16

Eventually, maturing DEW tech may permit GBAD to provide a more level the playing field.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
2 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Delete ‘the’…🙄

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
2 months ago

The road looks better then 99% of British roads. No pot holes or patch work repairs.
Probably a better surface to land on then even an RAF airstrip.🫣

Jack
Jack
2 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

And the 20mph speed limit in Wales would prevent take off and landing 😂

Last edited 2 months ago by Jack
Jon
Jon
2 months ago
Reply to  Jack

Hello hello hello. Licence and registration please. What do you mean, no insurance?

AlexS
AlexS
2 months ago
Reply to  Jon

That reminds of a crazy history from WW2 Italy
Italian tax authorities in 1941 or 1942 tried to make Regia Aeronautica to pay for a Blenheim bomber that was downed in Italy because was an “import”.

Last edited 2 months ago by AlexS
FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
2 months ago
Reply to  Jon

😁

Coll
Coll
2 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

It would be difficult to land on UK roads with cones out for non-existent roadworks.

Mark B
Mark B
2 months ago

Should have gone to specsavers😂

Marked
Marked
2 months ago

They experimented with this back in the early Jaguar days. A comment from one pilot suggested it is not something that he saw as being viable, said something like a real star might pull it off but the typical pilot would divert to another base rather than use the road.

If all runways are damaged it might be the only option but expect a few mishaps to occur…

DaveyB
DaveyB
2 months ago
Reply to  Marked

You have to bear in mind, the Jag’s take-off and landing distances. The Typhoon by comparison puts it to shame. The Jag was seriously underpowered, it had a take-off distance worse than a Tornados on a hot day at a high elevation, especially if it was carrying ordinance.

The Typhoon has a pretty good short take-off and landing (STOL) capability. Though not quite as good as the Gripen. The Typhoon’s really good power to weight ratio and the coupled canard-delta wing design, is key for its STOL capability.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
2 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Presume trial(s) will eventually be replicated in UK? Demonstration of capability in an expeditionary environment certainly useful, but believe odds favor home field requirement.

DaveyB
DaveyB
2 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Both Typhoon and F35B have now been deployed to RAF airfields that have been put into care and maintenance. These are still part of the MoD estate. But the sites are no longer used as main operating bases. They are usually a bit run down. But the main runways are still useable and cared for. For the Samsonite brigade (fixed wing RAF) these are baby steps. They haven’t done austere ops since the Harrier days. When operating from Afghan. The Tornados had a purpose built pan, hangerage and air conditioned buildings to support the “Expeditionary Air Wing” at Kandahar. To… Read more »

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
2 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

🤞

Coll
Coll
2 months ago
Reply to  Marked

It also landed on a newly built part of the motorway.

David Barry
David Barry
2 months ago

Did he unpack his maggot?

Sleep in the fresh air?

Make his own breakfast?

Photo op.

DaveyB
DaveyB
2 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

Mate they’re sponsored by Samsonite. So you already know the answer.

David Barry
David Barry
2 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

At least try to make a tea in the field!

Oh, my bad. Make a tee in the field and they’d have been there all week.

Gemma
Gemma
2 months ago

During the Cold War days in West Germany dispersal exercise with planes especially with RAF Harriers where routine but also with other fighter jets. The Swiss use roads as runways for their air force. Now NATO military is back from Iraq & Afghanistan, including UK military. The Army & Airforce are back to training to defend and live of the land in Northern Europe and the different seasonal weather that brings, including artic and mountain warfare in Scandinavia. The Cold War has disastrously morphed into a Hot War in an area on European Mainland.

Jonathan
Jonathan
2 months ago

One of the reasons the carriers and F35B are so important….a fully functional airfield that can move and hide in the vast sea is really important…..airfields are alway vulnerable no matter how much air defence you put up around them.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

They’re actually the best defended airfields we have.

Jonathan
Jonathan
2 months ago

Indeed…..they are defended by one of the most complex and effective integrated air defence systems in the world…an air defence system that component parts also move and hide in the same seas…land based air defence systems chained to an airfield as they are can be very susceptible to SEAD/DEAD, they are known and located, therefore vulnerable….a carrier battle groups air defence system is far harder to find, let alone suppress or destroy.

David Barry
David Barry
2 months ago

Yes, just not self defended.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Also Helicopter OutLying Fields in support of ship-shore beach assault by marines ultimately. This time with pilot still onboard, though.

dazzler
dazzler
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

The good thing about land based airfields is that they can be hit and repaired many times over, i.e. they do not sink, unlike aircraft carriers, which take years to replace.

Uninformed Civvy Lurker
Uninformed Civvy Lurker
2 months ago

That road is 4 lanes without a central reservation.

The wingspan of a typhoon is around 11 metres.

Which is about 4 lanes width – so it should be possible to land on a motorway carriageway ( 3 lanes and a hard shoulder ) – doubt there are many other roads in the U.K. that are straight for a couple of miles , has 11 metres of unobstructed width ( with no trees or signs that might reduce that 11 metres ).

Most A roads that wide will have a central reservation or barrier or islands or something on them.

David
David
2 months ago

Back in the 70s, there were trials of a Jaguar operating from an UK motorway. Seem tqo recall it was the M56……

Uninformed Civvy Lurker
Uninformed Civvy Lurker
2 months ago
Reply to  David

It was the M55 at Blackpool ( well Weeton ) about 4 miles from BAe Warton ( I think it was written BAe at the time ) and 3 miles from Blackpool Airport.

The M55 had just been completed and wasn’t open yet – I think – it also didn’t have any signs, cats eyes, etc installed yet.

Edit – the Jaguar wingspan is also about 9ft smaller than both the Typhoon and the F35B.

Last edited 2 months ago by Uninformed Civvy Lurker
Jonathan
Jonathan
2 months ago

It’s worth pointing out that to do this you do have to have roads that are designed to allow this….specifically very strait bits of wide road the right length and built to runway standards…also maintained……not sure how many strait 8000 meter long, very wide bits of maintained runway quality roads you will find in the UK.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I keep reading they planned to use the A1M in the Cold War. You also need space to leave to a hidden dispersal, not so easy with motorways flanked by embankment, or raised on one. I’m trying to visualise Fleet Services on the M3 whether you’d get a Typhoon down the slip road!

To be sure, the MoD will have contingency for this and places already decided. Resourcing such detachments with enough staff from Fire to Armaments to RAF Reg STO/FP dets another matter.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
2 months ago

Can they not pull into the little chef/BP petrol station off the motorway. The ground crew can stay at the holiday inn😂😂😂😂

Last edited 2 months ago by Monkey spanker
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 months ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Ahhhh, now there is a name from the past…Little Chef. The “Olympic Breakfast” 😋 I’d always have one of those. They all closed and now there are pointless ( for us at least ) Starbucks and Costa Coffee where ever you go.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
2 months ago

Need a meal not a coffee.

klonkie
klonkie
2 months ago

Morning mate – the wife had a school job waitressing at a Little Chef, near Guilford I believe. Do you guys still have Wimpy?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 months ago
Reply to  klonkie

Morning mate. There is a Wimpey in Farnborough, and there were 2 Little Chefs near Guildford I recall, one on the A3 and the other on the Hogs Back! Been in both.😆

Klonkie
Klonkie
2 months ago

Nice!😀

AlexS
AlexS
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Why you need 8000 meter long? that is not even typical runway in large airports. Was it a typo for 800m?

Jonathan
Jonathan
2 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

Well spotted I got over excited typing the zeros and and meant 800meters…an 8km long runway requirement would be a bit over the top. My understanding is a typhoon minimum take off is 700meters fully loaded..but you need extra space beyond that…..your not going to have the road do a right hand turn at 700meters…that would be asking for it. So 800meters seem safe….

AlexS
AlexS
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

👍

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

There is a video on forces news about forces in Lithuania with a typhoon doing a low pass. What a machine. Also I saw a short clip of a storm shadow tearing across the sky. I assumed subsonic would be slow but it was low and fast.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
2 months ago

That’s the classic difference between yer 4th & 5th Gen. Yer 5th Gen prefers no pilot and, err, no road.
More apposite regarding very austere landing strips, I’ll still bang the drum for light attack single prop aircraft like AT6E as potential cost-effective counter to KA52 & ilk.

Paul T
Paul T
2 months ago

Norwegian F35’s have been doing this too, guessing it’s at the same place.

sgtpokey
sgtpokey
2 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

It is the same place ( I live in Finland). For the particulars, note this exercise involved Finnish Hornets, Norwegian F35a’s, and British Typhoons. My understanding is the ground crew and ground assets were all Finnish assets as the actual exercise is a Finnish exercise with the addition of practising refueling allied aircraft (which is the NEW part of the annual exercise). Finnish Hornets and the rest of their military do this thing as part of standard exercises. Should also be noted part of the original Norwegian selection of the F35a’s was it had to be able to take off/land… Read more »

Kjell
Kjell
2 months ago

The Tervo Highway Strip is One asphalt runway, 14/32, is available, and measures 2 946 meters or 9 665 feet long.

Mark F
Mark F
2 months ago

Here you go. Jag landing on the M55
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAVDOBWtBuU

Simon
Simon
2 months ago
Reply to  Mark F

Good clip, and jag lands on one side of motorway with central crash barrier in place. French wanted them for carrier duty. High intakes and wings and long legs.

Gordon
Gordon
2 months ago

Singapore has sections of its motorway network that can take plans, the central reservation is flower beds that can be moved out the way and areas either side for aircraft.