UK showcases airpower in Saudi Arabia alongside partner nations

A large number of Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoons have been dispatched to Saudi Arabia to participate in a multinational air exercise called the 'Spears of Victory' 2024. The RAF's XI (Fighter) Squadron's aircraft flew daily sorties between February 5 and 15, 2024, as part of a large coalition of nations. During the exercise, the participating countries flew together in mixed groups to conduct air operations against simulated peer adversaries. 


The teams of aircraft involved in the missions practiced conducting both defensive and offensive counter-air operations. The sorties also included air interdiction training against live and simulated threats. "The centerpiece of the exercise was the missions flown during Spears for Victory 2024," Squadron Leader Hodgkinson of the RAF said. "Pilots and aircrew on a multinational exercise can build relationships through shared experiences.


"Along with the RAF Typhoons, the Royal Saudi Air Force flew its Typhoons, Tornados, and F-15s, while F-16s took part from the air forces of Greece and the UAE. The Saudi F-15s were joined by others from Qatar, with the French Air and Space Force detachment contributing to Rafales. The Pakistan Air Force flew their JF-17s, while the Royal Air Force of Oman deployed Typhoons to the exercise. The US also allocated KC135 tanker aircraft sorties to add to the air-to-air refueling capability. 

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Over 60 aircraft took part in the exercise overall. "The Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) and the RAF have a strong alliance that has continued to develop here on Spears of Victory 2024, we look forward to working together in the future," said Colonel Alshehri Saeed, Royal Saudi Air Force Exercise Director. "During one sortie, I was the air-to-air package lead. What that means is that while I am leading a formation of Typhoons, I'm also feeding into the bigger picture and in charge of other assets within the area of operations," said the RAF's Flight Lieutenant 'Boz'. "With this being a network-enabled exercise, I not only have the situational awareness of my own formation but also what other callsigns are doing, and that is a critical element of modern warfighting," he added.

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