Two Typhoons from 1 (Fighter) Squadron and Saab JAS-39 Gripen jets flown by the Hungarian Air Force Puma Tactical Fighter Squadron have been conducting bilateral training from Kecskemet Air Base, say the RAF.
This is reportedly the first time Royal Air Force Typhoon and Hungarian Gripen jets have trained together in this way and it aims to strengthen a growing defence relationship between the UK and Hungary.
Gaining first-hand experience of working together will lead to a better understanding of capabilities and increased cooperation in the air and among ground crews.
Squadron Leader Ellis Williams, Leading the Royal Air Force detachment, said:
“We have two Typhoon jets and there are quite a few of the Gripens so every day we are looking to do a pair in the morning and a pair in the afternoon, both visual combat and beyond visual range work.
We work to the same rules and tactics, so to operate with a different nation is quite comforting that we are doing the same thing. It is exciting with the different aeroplanes, the different group of people, but ultimately we are all growing, we are all maturing as pilots, we are exchanging ideas, and we are exchanging tactics, so it is really great.”
Iain Lindsay OBE, the United Kingdom Ambassador to Hungary, said:
“I have been delighted to hear how well and how smoothly our air and ground crew have worked together this week. I really believe this personal experience and the friendship formed during events such as Flying Sword really do contribute to the future success of our military relationship.
The UK is keen to deepen bilateral and regional cooperation with our NATO allies, our commitment to the NATO enhanced Air Policing reassures our allies that we stand by our NATO commitments and our commitments to European security. It also gives a great opportunity to train together, to practice together, to learn from each other and to get to know each other.”
The MoD say that the RAF Typhoons of 1 (Fighter) Squadron are currently deployed to Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base, Romania, to conduct Enhanced Air Policing from July to August 2018, as a part of NATO’s Assurance Measures introduced in 2014.