A Voyager KC2 Tanker was recently spotted on an Operation Shader mission, South West of Kirkuk, Iraq.
The aircraft was providing air to air refuelling for Typhoon jets on armed reconnaissance patrols in the country.
While this is a common occurrence, it’s not commonly reported. Much attention is paid to the Typhoon jets themselves but it’s important to remember the assets that enable their operation so far from home.
The Open Source Intelligence Twitter account SkyWatcher Intel often follows such flights in the region, if you don’t follow them then I’d suggest you go do that now if you’d like to see what’s going on as it goes on.
RAF 🇬🇧 Voyager KC2 Tanker (ZZ335) on an Operation Shader mission, South West of Kirkuk, Iraq 🇮🇶, providing air to air refuelling support for 2x RAF Typhoon FGR4s that are also up tonight.
Callsign: CROSSBOW22. pic.twitter.com/vNIi3YUb7w
— Sierra Alpha (@skywatcherintel) January 31, 2021
Royal Air Force aircraft have been able to continue regular armed reconnaissance missions to support the enduring work of the Iraqi security forces to prevent any resurgence of the Daesh terrorist movement within their country.
Voyager, the RAF designation for the Airbus A330 MRTT, began air-to-air refuelling flights and made its first operational tanker flight in May 2013.
The UK operates a total of 14 Voyager aircraft, 5 of which are leased for commercial purposes when not required.