The US Air Force 492nd Fighter Squadron sent several F-15E Strike Eagles to support Royal Air Force exercise Typhoon Warrior last week.

The squadron’s participation, say the United States Air Force, provided a valuable training experience for RAF personnel, allowing them to study best practices integrating with US platforms.

“As long-standing allies on operations, it is critical for the RAF to understand how best to work together with US assets,” said RAF Squadron Leader James Fordham, 29 Squadron.

“Working with the 492nd Fighter Squadron is a fantastic opportunity for the Typhoon Qualified Weapons Instructor Course and wider Typhoon force.”

The Typhoon QWIC served as the cornerstone of the training, with a focus on defensive and offensive counter-air operations, dynamic targeting, air interdiction, close air support and joint personnel recovery. Exercise staff at RAF Coningsby coordinate annual fighter, tanker and various support participation from RAF Lakenheath, Mildenhall, Cobham, Spadeadam and Scampton, to provide Typhoon FGR4 aircrews with the best training available.

“With the Typhoon Force expanding, integrating new weapons and developing new capabilities, QWIs have to be at the top of their game; working with our US allies is one of the ways we reach, and maintain that standard,” Fordham said.

For the 48th Fighter Wing, Typhoon Warrior allowed F-15E aircrews an opportunity to leverage their skill and knowledge with RAF aviators, while sharpening air interoperability tactics for potential contingencies.

“It is a huge honor to participate in the Typhoon Warrior,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Eric Joachim, 48th Operations Support Squadron chief of wing weapons.

“As threats to the security of our two nations continue to morph, it is vitally important that we advance our techniques, tactics and procedures to counter them.”

30 COMMENTS

    • i dunno what the f35 has to do with this, but imo yes, the f15 is pretty…..the f16? not so much…..its got that gopping jaw 😉

      stealth aircraft have their own aesthetic imo

    • It’s like being at school again. The “F-35 is one ugly aircraft”. What has that got to do with the article and anything else for that matter. It’s a pathetic excuse for replying to the article.

  1. For me the F15 is the greatest aircraft that ever graced the sky. Shame the RAF didn’t procure these instead of the Tornado ADV which wasnt adequate to be interceptor or fighter.

    Still in production after nearly 50 years.

    Just my opinion.

    • Mike – yes the F15 is one of my favorites too,wasn’t it the case that the F14 was a possible long range interceptor for the RAF at one stage ?

        • From memory the UK considered F14, 15, 16 and 18 for the air defence role.

          F16 and F18 were quickly discarded due lack of range and inadequate radar.

          F15 was considered unable to operate in the EW environment expected in combat, due to only having a single crew member.

          F14 met all the requirements was to expensive.

          I guess the supposed evaluation was designed to say the Tornado ADV was the best solution.

          I did read one proposal was that the UK would buy the F15 whilst the US purchased the Tornado IDS for wild weasel role. Of course the US adapted the F16 for that role.

          With the benefit of hindsight, two seat F15 would have been the best solution by far given the advances in Soviet aircraft capability seen in the 80s. If the cold war ever became hot the Tornado would have struggled against Mig29 and Su27s.

          Tornado F3s were deployed during Gulf war 1, but were kept well back from the combat area due to their inability to take on other fighter aircraft.

          Typhoon would have still gone ahead even we had to replace Jaguar, Germans had to replace their Phantoms and European aerospace industries needed to be kept busy.

          • Back then the MoD policy was to buy British almost regardless. That’s the only explanation for that colossal pile of steaming excrement known as the Tornado F3. Quite possibly the worst combat aircraft ever to serve in the RAF. As far as the alternatives as best I recall it would have been the Tomcat. The F15 was too expensive both too buy and too operate. The F16 was probably the best fit financially but it didn’t have the endurance.

          • Strong opinion there David, the UK was committed to buy 385 Tornado regardless what variant. The RAF didn’t need 385 IDS aircraft, hence the solution was buy 165 ADV.

            Also the very beginning of the MRCA project Italy was planning for a single seat air superiority version, which was quickly ditched whilst the Germans said the MRCA would need an aisle escort fighter.

            Given that Tornado was basically a low level strike aircraft and everything, including the engines, was designed to achieve best possible performance in that role we shouldn’t be surprised at the ADVs poor performance.

            Still believe the two seat F15 was the best option for the air defence role, as the F14 had a myriad of its own problems.

          • Agree about engines but the MoD knew all the problems with lack of performance at altitude and still bought 165 of them. As far as just how rubbish the F3 was. Read or listen to anyone who ever flew it. The overwhelming feeling was embarrassment.

          • Never spoke to anyone directly involved with the Tornado F3, just heard comments on a second hand basis.

            Their comments did not paint a rosy picture of the F3s performance.

          • David Steeper – the F3 in my opinion was probably a more capable Fighter than your point of view suggests,yes it was a bit of a ‘Heath Robinson’ adaptation of the IDS version and weapon wise it didn’t initialy offer much advantage ove the Phantoms it replaced,but it was built to perform a specific role,which had the time come would have been hopefully successful in.The stretching of the fuselage had a few positive side effects,it certainly made it look more elegant in my eyes.Later on in its life it had some significant upgrades which made it more potent (SEAD Capable too) but would say compared to the Typhoon it can be seen as a dinosaur today.

    • I like the F15 and it is a magnificent aircraft but I do not think it comes close the greatest aircraft. The Vulcan was astonishing in almost every way possible as was the Buccaneer, Canberra and Lightning. I also think the SR71 was amazing too. Still the Vulcan surpasses everything else in my mind.

      However you are entitled to your opinion.

      • For me, SR-71 gets the title of “greatest” aircraft ever made, hotly followed by Concorde as “greatest” civil aircraft. The engineering challenges overcome to make both aircraft work were astounding. My own humble opinion of course.

    • if you google AMARG INVENTORY you’ll see that the maintenAnce and regeneration facility has over 300 f 16’s and a hundred or so f15’s we sold 72 harriers for a poxy£116,oooooo how many of these would the R.A.F WANT FOR THE SAME PRICE. THERE’S MORE TO THE U.K SKY THAN THE F35 a look at the naval inactive ships register, shows loads of mothballed american warships in storage, maybe the the u.k military would benefit from a bit of second hand shopping (everyone else does it, why not us?) boosting the sizes our forces for far less £ i’d hope the u.s would give the u.k a ‘mates’ rate. a ticonderoga a year would be very welcome at the admiralty. except for the excessive crew size.

      • While the cost savings on the initial purchase might be appealing there are of course much bigger costs further down the line. The costs to upgrade them to modern standards (assuming that we’re not content to send our sailors out with woefully outdated equipment) would not be insignificant. Maintenance and crewing costs would be very high, as the equipment grows even older and lengthier maintenance periods will eventually negatively impact availability.

        It’s an attractive idea but it does t hills up to scrutiny.

        As you alluded to in your last paragraph the navy already has significant crewing issues, old ships requiring lots of maintenance will only compound this problem.

  2. F35 is a great looking aircraft, The B version is slightly ungainly but way better than sea harrier. If UK had bought F15 instead of Tornado ADV then we would not have Typhoon (which is much better looking) and we would now have the prospect of having to to use F35 for A2A mission that its not optimized for.

    • Views from back of a transport aircraft taken looking back at the Typhoon are awesome.

      The Typhoon head-on looks totally menacing!!

      The Typhoon, aesthetically speaking, smacks the pants off any aircraft it there. If that was the criteria that all aircraft were judged on – war would be a doddle!!

  3. “the f 35 is one ugly aircraft” what has that got to do with anything? Is the article entitled The F-35 is it an ugly or pretty aircraft?

      • Love the part when the Tornado F3s had to escort Mig29s to Farnborough 88.

        They had to radio air traffic control to ask the Mig 29s to slow down as Tornado F3 couldn’t keep up at the cruising altitude of 40000ft.

  4. My take as an older guy-F15 still an awesome aircraft-never beaten in its limited combat experience; F16-the numbers built speak for the success of this fighter and still a good looker; Bucaneer-many have praised the abilities of this low level strike jet but only(maybe) saw limited combat in South Africa/Namibia. Built in small numbers with only SAAF,RN and RAF service; Vulcan-an icon but was slagged off by the 1960’s UK Press as a slow lumbering easy target that would have been destroyed long before it reached Soviet territory even using standoff weaponary;Bac Lightning-a hugely charismatic aircraft in terms of performance at the top of the list but hampered by short range and poor combat radius and limited payload. My all time favourite; Tornado ADV- a kite that never should have happened; Typhoon-puts the “A” in awesome; SR 71-the stuff of science fiction. Has never been anything to match its performance. TSR2-not everyones favourite but the Lightening could not catch it at full tilt and if it had survived would still be flying today as a Mk 5 or 6.
    Fun

    • Personally I think there are aircraft in the hands of the USG or USAF that have gone beyond the Blackbird with regards to Mach and height.

      Officially though I agree on the Blackbirds performance stats. I’d read it’s true capabilities might be beyond what was officially admitted.

      I also recall there was a modified M25 Foxbat that was close to it and took the height record?

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