Typhoon aircraft flown by No 1 Squadron from RAF Lossiemouth have landed at Royal Malaysian Air Force station Butterworth in Malaysia for Exercise Bersama Lima 16, the first leg of ‘Eastern Venture’.
The Typhoon aircraft arrived as two trails (4 in each), both support by RAF Voyager Tanker aircraft which provided air to air refuelling for the Typhoons.
Multiple re-fuelling brackets were conducted, with the Voyager and Typhoons linking up at 300 mph.
The two trails stopped off at various countries en route, and in total each covered over 7600 miles, showing that the RAF and the Typhoons have true global reach, able to project air power worldwide.
Exercise Bersama Lima 16, is the annual Five Powers Defence Arrangement (FPDA) Exercise, which involves the UK, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. The RAF will operate out of Royal Malaysian Air Force(RMAF) Butterworth.
The Exercise provides an opportunity for the five countries to improve integration and interoperability, whilst showing their collective commitment to the FPDA.
Wing Commander Mike Sutton, Commanding Officer 1(Fighter) Squadron, RAF Lossiemouth, said:
“We are really looking forward to Exercise Bersama Lima and we are really grateful to Malaysia for hosting this exercise. Everyday we will be conducting large training missions with all of the air forces. This exercise provides us with a fantastic opportunity to train and improve our integration and effectiveness with all the participating countries.”
The exercise runs from the 4th-21st of October and is the first part of Eastern Venture. After Exercise Bersama Lima, the Typhoons will then deploy for exercises in Japan and The Republic of Korea.
The South Korean exercise is reportedly designed to counter the rising threats from North Korea’s intensified nuclear and missile tests, according to local media.
The South Korean Air Force said in a statement that the exercise will be conducted between the 4th and 10th of November at Osan Air Base and will involve a combined aerial exercise, “the first of its kind” the statement added.
Britain is planning to send Typhoon jets, a Voyager tanker aircraft and C-17, C-130 transport aircraft to take part in the exercise.
South Korea will deploy F-15K and KF-16 fighters and the US will send F-16 fighters, the statement added.
Eastern Venture, what the RAF are calling the deployment, begins with Typhoon aircraft deploying from RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland to Malaysia and Singapore, for training as part of the Five Power Defence Arrangement between the UK, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.