Baltic Sea

RAF aircraft conduct air sea exercises with US Navy ships

The British Royal Air Force (RAF) has used its aircraft to conduct air-naval exercises concurrently with the US Navy.

The exercises were conducted over the Red Sea and the Baltic Sea.

As part of the exercise, the RAF’s Typhoon fighter jets from RAF Lossiemouth joined RAF Marham’s F-35B Lightning fighter jet over the Baltic Sea.

The RAF’s aircraft were also joined by the US Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Gravely and the Czech Air Force’s Gripen fighter jets.

During the exercises, the Typhoon jets flew a seven-hour mission and performed their first refueling with the RAF’s only air-to-air refueling (AAR) aircraft, Voyager, from RAF Brize Norton.

After the completion of the initial refueling, the Typhoon came under the control of the USS Gravely to achieve integrated anti-aircraft and anti-missile defenses necessary for the ship’s defenses.

An RAF Lossiemouth Typhoon pilot said: “We conducted defensive dogfights against opponents simulating airstrikes on the ship.”

Meanwhile, a similar exercise was being conducted in the Red Sea region by another US Navy Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, USS Gonzalez.

The USS Gonzalez was joined by the RAF Typhoon, flying from RAF Akrotiri, currently stationed under 83 Expeditionary Air Group, and the US Air Force (USAF) F-16 aircraft.

In this exercise, the US Navy destroyer Gonzalez offered the RAF Typhoons maritime air control to practice interception.

Sea air control also allowed the Typhoon pilots to conduct combat maneuvers against the USAF’s F-16 aircraft.

The exercise allowed participants to practice a wide range of drills and achieve improved interoperability between RAF aircraft and US Navy ships.