Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from the UK’s Royal Air Force are at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada this month to take part in one of the world’s leading air-to-air combat training exercises which begins this week.
Red Flag is the United States Air Force’s premier air-to-air combat training event. Participants typically include both US and allied nations’ combat air forces. The exercise gives pilots the experience of multiple, intensive air sorties in the safety of a training environment.
This year, as well as the Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4’s from 6 Squadron based at RAF Leuchars, there will also be Tornado GR-4s and an E-3D Sentry from the UK. The Royal Australian Air Force are expected to send F-18s and an E-7. The allied nations will augment and perform alongside a contingent of US aircraft.
In 2013, Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft acquitted themselves with flying colours at the event attracting widespread praise for their agility, flexibility and ability to deliver what was described as ‘high kinetic’ effect. The Eurofighter’s Defensive Aids Sub Systems (DASS) and the aircraft’s Mission Data were major contributors to the jet’s success.
The RAF have placed significant emphasis on developing the aircraft’s mission data — populating the Eurofighter Typhoon’s DASS and radar with vital information to enable peak performance in high-threat scenarios.
Nellis Air Force Base is one of the largest fighter bases in the world. The aircraft will operate from the Nevada Test and Training Range, which offers more than 15,000 square miles of airspace and 4,700 square miles of restricted land.
More than 125 aircraft are scheduled to depart Nellis twice a day and aircraft may remain in the air for up to five hours. Flying times are scheduled to accommodate other flying missions at Nellis AFB and provide Red Flag participants with valuable training in planning and executing a wide-variety of combat missions.
Alberto Gutierrez, Chief Executive Officer of Eurofighter GmbH, said: “It is always a proud moment for us when our customers showcase the Eurofighter Typhoon at an event like this – especially when the aircraft is building itself a reputation for acquitting itself so well. We wish the RAF great success with the Exercise and we look forward to actively supporting them as we continue to work together to further grow the capabilities of what is already recognised to be a highly agile, potent and reliable aircraft.”
Exercise Red Flag runs from January 27th to February 14th.
Eurofighter Typhoon is the most advanced new generation multi-role/swing-role combat aircraft currently available on the world market. Seven nations (Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Austria, Saudi Arabia and Oman) have already ordered the Eurofighter Typhoon. With 719 aircraft under contract and 571 on order, Eurofighter Typhoon is currently the largest military procurement programme in Europe. Its high technology strengthens the position of European aerospace industry in the international market.
The programme secures more than 100,000 jobs in over 400 companies. Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH manages the programme on behalf of the Eurofighter Partner Companies Alenia Aermacchi/Finmeccanica, BAE Systems and Airbus Defence and Space in Germany and Spain, which are the most important aviation and aerospace companies in Europe with a turnover of about 126 billion euro (2012).
Since delivery of the first Eurofighter Typhoon to the Royal Air Force in the United Kingdom end of 2003, a total of 400 aircraft have been delivered to six nations. The 100th Eurofighter was delivered to the Royal Air Force in September 2006. The 200th aircraft was handed over in November 2009 to the German Air Force. The 300th aircraft was delivered to the Spanish Air Force in November 2011 and the German Air Force received the 400th Eurofighter in December 2013.
In the past 10 years, the Eurofighter fleet has demonstrated its high operational effectiveness in international missions and training exercises and has accumulated more than 220,000 flying hours. Several developments such as the Phase 1 Enhancement, the integration of the METEOR air-to-air missile, the new electronic radar (E-Scan) and additional weaponry will further increase the capabilities of the Eurofighter Typhoon and secure the future of this modern combat aircraft.