Advanced Typhoon fighter aircraft from the Royal Air Force were put through their paces in a major exercise in the United Arab Emirates which concluded on 11 December. The Advanced Tactical Leadership Course (ATLC), led by the UAE Air Force’s Air Warfare Centre, aims to make sure the UAE and its allies can operate together effectively to support security in the Gulf. Following the exercise the commander of the RAF’s 83 Expeditionary Air Group praised the UAE’s ‘first-class’ training.

Six Typhoon FGR4 aircraft from 3(F) Squadron participated in this year’s ATLC along with a Sentry airborne early warning aircraft from 8 Squadron. RAF pilots and ground crew had to work alongside other allied air forces to tackle a series of challenging scenarios, including terrorist attacks and air-to-air combat. Aerospace battle managers on board the Sentry and based with the RAF’s 83 Expeditionary Air Group elsewhere in the Middle East provided tactical command and control of aircraft. Other British units involved included Royal Navy frigate HMS Montrose and mine-sweeper HMS Quorn, and Fleet Air Arm Lynx and Sea King helicopters.

3(F) Squadron Typhoon pilot Flight Lieutenant Jim Fordham said the exercise helped the RAF share knowledge with the UAE. ‘This isn’t just an opportunity for us, the UK, to learn – we can also share our knowledge and lessons with our UAE allies. While the Royal Navy is here we can also work on air-maritime integration. We’re moulding all this together to make sure we can all work together as a combined force.’ […]