Typhoon jets from RAF Lossiemouth have completed a proof of concept exercise in Norway to test tactical refuelling capabilities from the ground, say the Royal Air Force.

According to a news release, the Typhoons were supported by an  A400M and Voyager aircraft.

“The exercise involved establishing a self-sufficient, multi-skilled, RAF team that was embedded within the Royal Norwegian Air Force base.  The team would then be capable of conducting Air Operations at short notice and away from the Typhoons main operating base in Scotland.

The exercise was one of the first in a series of exercises developing the interoperability skills needed to work with NATO Allies from multiple dispersed locations at short notice.  A key element of the concept is the ability to tactically refuel Typhoons from the ground, which is needed to achieve the dispersed operation of the aircraft.”

Colonel John Olsen, Norwegian Defence Attaché UK, was quoted as saying:

“This bilateral training improves the speed at which highly capable Air Forces, across the NATO partnership, can deliver decisive Air Power from several dispersed locations. Therefore, enforcing a more agile, and integrated, approach with our Allies.  The joint training conducted by both the Royal Norwegian Air Force and the RAF strengthens the effectiveness of NATO Air Power.”

Air Vice-Marshal Ian Duguid, Air Officer Commanding 11 Group, UK’s Global Air Component Commander, said:

“This was an excellent opportunity for the RAF to operate alongside one of our NATO partners.  This integrated activity demonstrated our ability to deploy, integrate and recover our assets in an agile, short notice manner. This small footprint strengthens the flexible employment of Air Power across the NATO partnership.”

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geoff
geoff
1 month ago

Building and reinforcing the Nato web!🖕 Lovely aircraft the Typhoon-up there next to my favourite Bae Lightning.
Hi Daniele-Durban is freezing cold-about 9 degrees tonight. Most of the rest of SA on the minus scale as a huge cold front moves in from Antarctica so enjoy your lovely summer in the Home Counties.
Climate change a reality!
Cheers from Durbs

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  geoff

Hi geoff!

Down to 23 degrees, and thunderstorms tomorrow.

Respect from Surrey.

Klonkie
Klonkie
1 month ago
Reply to  geoff

Hey Geoff. Slightly off topic, but do you know if the SAAF are considering buying the ex RAFc-130j that are being retied,? No doubt there must be some urgency to replace those 60 years old C-130 Bs!

geoff
geoff
1 month ago
Reply to  Klonkie

Howsit Klonkie. Hope you well. I haven’t heard anything but very much doubt it given the state of our Defence budget and finances in general! Much of our Armed Forces equipment is now unserviceable in all three arms although there are still some good men doing their best to keep things going. Also we are not alone-I believe the RAF have similar problems with, among other assets, the Typhoon. The C130 is an amazing aircraft-big fan. I am sure the SAAF would love to have some”J’s but very much doubt it will happen.
Cheers-Uit Die Blou…

geoff
geoff
1 month ago
Reply to  geoff

PS there is a You Tube video of a RAF C130J landing at St. Helena island airport-stops on a Tickey 😂 only needed less than half the runway. This during the time when armchair critics were labelling the 1,9 km runway and facility as the”most useless airport in the world”.very unfairly!! Made it look p*ss easy. Even in a heavy crosswind the SA pilot put a 737 down quite comfortably after two recce passes.

PaulW
PaulW
1 month ago

Tactical refuelling is a useful concept as it may also act as a building block for the reintroduction of dispersed operations. So a tanker + transport + support crew + a flight of aircraft could become a dispersed unit, located anywhere in the NATO area of ops. Maybe a self defence unit to go with it and you have a fairly potent facility. Even more if you add UAV/drone capability. Might be difficult to sustain for more than short periods, but handy to disappear when the other side is raining missiles at your MOBs.

Andrew D
Andrew D
1 month ago

Remember the JAGs and Harries in Norway back in cold war days ,love the old camouflage 🇬🇧

Fender
Fender
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew D

You’re not wrong there. I always thought the Jags in particular looked fantastic in that outfit.

Pete
Pete
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew D

Remember as a kid back in early 70s driving to see family outside Elgin ( Not far from Lossiemouth / Kinloss) and my old man just about ran off the road first time we saw a Harrier popping up out of the forrest next to the road. Memory remains vivid 50 years later.

geoff
geoff
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew D

Indeed and miss the full colour roundels! Thinking back, in those days we had Phantoms, Lightnings, Harriers,Jaguars,Buccaneers, Vulcans on the front line-did I miss any? Medium Bomber, Air defence, Interceptor,dogfighter, VTOL, light strike, low level strike,strategic bomber. Now we have 2 types to do it all!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  geoff

Tragic.

Alabama boy
Alabama boy
1 month ago
Reply to  geoff

To paraphrase a famous quote from Morecambe and Wise – The RAF can do some of these things but not all at the same time! Especially if embarked on the other side of the world !!.

Crabfat
Crabfat
1 month ago

Why the huge bottle of milk up on the hill? Ready for all the troops, I guess…

Cheers!

Pete
Pete
1 month ago
Reply to  Crabfat

🤣

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago

So is the voyager dishing out the fuel on the ground and the a400 bringing the bits and bobs needed? Missiles, flare refills etc etc. The people required flying in both maybe. Must still be an airfield. Loved the harrier hiding in the bushes in the Cold War

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Had a look at the raf website. It was a bødo main airfield. They are refuelling from a ground tanker truck. Raises more questions?
Are all three types getting fuel from the ground. Is it to disperse all aircraft and this was just the combination picked today.
Are the voyager and a400 needed to do this to a few typhoons.
Can’t wait to see what road they are going to shut for motorway testing. Miles of tailbacks for incoming aircraft lol

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
1 month ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Idea is an A400M brings a tanker truck and ground crew and they refuel the plane from that. The Voyager is there to refuel the tanker truck/A400m during the trials.
The operational idea is the A400 and the fighters would land in a dispersed airfield location (they are using Norway to simulate that) the tanker truck would be unloaded to refuel the fighters and then they would all depart again in minutes.

Last edited 1 month ago by Watcherzero
DaveyB
DaveyB
1 month ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

Very little point in bringing a tanker truck. As you can directly refuel from the A400 on the ground, not sure if the Voyager can do this though. Using Hercules as ground bowsers has been used for decades, the requirement has carried forward with the A400.

Alabama boy
Alabama boy
1 month ago
Reply to  DaveyB

The Voyager PODs do have a ground fuel transfer capability, its not clear to my why this wasn’t used and indeed what was the A400 carrying which couldn’t be carried in the Voyager NATO standard pallets in the hold.

DaveyB
DaveyB
1 month ago
Reply to  Alabama boy

Cheers, that’s good to know. The two fuel bowsers in the picture are both Norwegian. I suspect the A400 was carrying spares for the exercise and probably some special to type GSE.

Alabama boy
Alabama boy
1 month ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Possibly extra stuff just in case a piece of equipment failed. Belt and braces.

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
1 month ago
Reply to  DaveyB

According to the RAF website they were carrying the personnel and equipment to embed within and establish self sufficient operations from an allied airfield.

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  Alabama boy

Probably because there are fewer Voyagers and they’re harder to land than an A400?

David
David
1 month ago

Is the tempo building here? Re-inforce the northern flank? Allow any RAF in Estonia to get out but keep them near the fight? Questions, questions.

DaveyB
DaveyB
1 month ago

This really shouldn’t be a major concern. As all NATO aircraft and fuel tankers use the same standard pressure refueling coupling, thus simplifying the refuel.

Steve M
Steve M
1 month ago

Surely the whole purpose of ‘Tactical’ should negate the need for huge runways?
Would expect this to be F-35s and A-400.
Voyage can accompany to close to area refuel A-400 so it land close to max they then pull the fuel hoses out the para doors to refuel F-35’s, re-arm as well?

If voyager has gone all that way and they don’t refuel from ground then surely they would just refuel fighters and trail back home after strike.

Positroll
Positroll
13 minutes ago

Stupid Q: Does the RAF use the A400M in the tanker configuration at all? Because wiki says no, only MRTT.
.
Meanwhile, GER and FRA are currently working on certifying the A400M for ground refueling, among other things

https://www.bundeswehr.de/de/organisation/luftwaffe/aktuelles/a400m-besteht-test-als-mobile-tankstelle-fuer-hubschrauber-5055256

planning to use it as a hub to refule helis at remote locations (Forward Area Refueling Point) .where a MRTT cant land. Say, the middle of the Sahara …