Typhoon jets have left the UK to embark on a four-month tour of the Middle East and Far-East.

Before flying on to a multi-national exercise in Malaysia at the end of September, the first stop for the multi-role Typhoon jets will be Oman in the Middle East. There, pilots from both nations will test their skills in a two week ‘live’ weapons exercise in the desert, say the Ministry of Defence in a news release.

Leading the detachment in Oman will be Officer Commanding 3(Fighter) Squadron, Wing Commander Steve Kenworthy:

“The exercise will focus heavily on Close Air Support training scenarios operating with both UK and Omani Joint Tactical Air Controllers and employing live Paveway IV and 27 mm strafe weapons, as well as conducting Combined Air Operations training. 

The topography and climate of Oman offer ideal training conditions for both the pilots and engineers of 3(F) Squadron ahead of their operational deployment in support of Op SHADER next year.

The opportunity to train and socialise with our RAFO colleagues provides an additional exciting and rewarding dimension to the exercise which I am sure will reinforce the strong and profound partnership between the UK and Oman that has endured for many years.”

According to the Royal Air Force:

“It is not just the fast jet pilots who will learn from exercises like Exercise Magic Carpet. It also prepares personnel performing support functions to become familiar with operating in tough conditions away from home.

For example, 3 Mobile Catering Squadron from RAF Wittering will keep everyone fed and watered; 90 Signals Unit from RAF Leeming will keep everyone securely connected with IT and communications; and a Voyager air-to-air refuelling and transporter aircraft from RAF Brize Norton will fly personnel there and keep the Typhoons in the air for longer through refuelling.”

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How many typhoons are we sending over?. Also Will we ever get more orders for typhoon in the Middle East? Or even get orders from the Far East? Typhoons are a very capable multi role aircraft now with some great weapons available, and typhoons are only getting better. And the option to be trained by the RAF in the UK must be another huge selling point. I hate the REDUCE TO PRODUCE system with typhoon! We need more foreign orders. But I do agree with replacing typhoons that can’t be upgraded… But we should have 200 typhoons minimum anyway.


4 I imagine

Matt C

What exercise is that being held in Malaysia?

I wonder how well or otherwise the Typhoon does in such a humid environment, word is that in previous deployments there they had to be stored in air-conditioned shelters.


That would be Exercise Bersama Lima (Literally translates to “Together Five”) 2019. This will be a joint exercise with Singapore, Australia & New Zealand as well. The exercise is the output of the Five Power Defence Agreement, and includes the participation of all branches service (Navy, Army & Air Force) of the participating countries. Previously, HMS Argyll had joined the exercise in 2018.

As to the Typhoons being housed in air-con hangers… can’t speak to that. They have visited Malaysia several times. Plus the TUDM (Royal Malaysian Air Force) had them on their shortlist for purchase to replace the MiG-29s.


It looks like the EU Palm Oil subsidy embargo is playing into the Malaysian decision on who they will talk to regarding the replacement of their ageing and multi-platform fighter fleet. As a result, Malaysia is studying replacing their 18 Sukhoi Su-30MKMs and 15 Mikoyan MiG-29s for the latest model Sukhoi Su-35 as a single platform. No word however on what they plan to do with their 8 Hornet F-18Ds, or whether they are also included in this potential fighter reset.


And then there’s this :


Plus there’s talk about the LIFT/LCA requirement as being the more affordable solution right now. They are suppose to replace the BAE Hawks and the MB339s :


As to what will actually happen, well that we will only know after the first aircraft is delivered. Not holding my breath.

Andrew Hoffman

Good to see Great Britain doing its share of the heavy lifting.