Typhoon fighter jets have carried out a training sortie with a US B-1B Lancer bomber over the North Sea, say the Royal Air Force.

According to a news release:

“The US B1B Lancer bomber was conducting a long-range nonstop training sortie from the United States to mainland Europe and back.  During the flight, Typhoons from 1(F) Squadron, escorted the US bomber over the North Sea, as it conducted Air to Air Refuelling prior to its return to the US across the Atlantic.

This training sortie was part of regular training activities by the RAF with the US Air Force and our NATO Allies. The B-1B Lancer is a part of the 28th Bomb Wing, based at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota and was refuelled by a KC-135 Stratotanker from the 100th Air Refuelling Wing, which is based at RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk.”

Group Captain Roger Elliott the Director of the Joint Force Air Component Headquarters that over saw the training sortie said in the above news release:

“These flying missions illustrate what the Royal Air Force is all about; opportunities for the RAF to work together with our NATO Allies developing our understanding of each other’s operating procedures and capabilities. By operating alongside the USAF, we demonstrate our capability, flexibility, and our commitment to NATO.”

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Great picture….. Just a pity the Typhoon was unable to take on fuel as well….

Robert Blay

why a pity?


Think he is commenting on the madness that we can’t refuel each other’s assets due to different systems


Robert, different refuelling systems and I believe if any fuel taken from an allied tanker results in a penalty payment Under the air to air refuelling contract


I assume because they had full tanks because kc135 can refuel droves quite easily


**Drogue and probe


The KC-135 is perfectly capable of refueling Typhoons and have done so for years. Here’s a video of one doing it.



I though refuelers were either probe or drogue? If not what’s the whole thing about us having 2 different systems.?


Well I’ve learned something new today, I always thought that the KC135 had to have the drogue unit fitted on the ground onto the end of the Boom…. i never realised that the US Airforce has adapted some of its KC135’s with wing mounted refuelling pods….

Paul T

pkcasimir – Stupid question but I wonder if the T&C’s of the AirTanker contract allow RAF Typhoons to actually use that capability ?.


Andrew yes the majority of the kc135 fleet have pod mounted drogue system now as the US navy and marines became so prevalent In Middle East operations. There has also been some research into adapting the boom to have a drogue feed below the normal boom nozzle but don’t think it moved very far.

Paul T
I believe the contract allows joint exercises without being penalised, it’s on operations when airtanker could provide the service and aren’t used then they could claim.

Nigel Collins