The world’s premier air combat exercise is underway in Nevada, with the Royal Air Force (RAF) playing a major role alongside American and Australian counterparts.
Set at Nellis Air Force Base, Red Flag pits ‘Blue’ coalition forces against hostile ‘Red Force’ aggressors, mirroring real-life threats in air-to-air, air-to-ground, space and cyber warfare.
Typhoons, from 6 Squadron, RAF Lossiemouth, are operating in a swing-role capacity, fighting their way into hostile airspace, launching precision strikes on ground targets and fighting their way out again.
The Typhoons have also worked with the US Air Force (USAF) F-35A Lightning II for the first time, and with USAF F-22 Raptors – hugely rewarding exposure to 5th Generation aircraft for RAF crews ahead of the F-35B’s introduction into the RAF’s combat inventory in 2018.
Voyager, the RAF’s ‘petrol station in the sky’, is taking part for the first time to provide a key air-to-air refuelling capability during the exercise, while a Sentinel and Rivet Joint are gathering intelligence and other mission-critical information.
Photo: UK Crown copyright 2017