Over the next few weeks, the Royal Air Force will continue to take part in the international ‘Red Flag’ exercises over the skies of Nevada – as part of a 150 aircraft contingent from the UK, US and Royal Australian Air Forces.
These exercises allow pilots to push the aircraft they operate to the maximum of their capability and technology (and provide some great ‘top gun’ style photos along the way!). The UK has a history of ‘punching above its weight’ in this respect – from both the Buccaneer and Vulcan bomber staggering the USAF with its low flying manoeuvres back in the 70s & 80s, right up to the Typhoon excelling in 2013 – impressing US military officials and pilots with its agility, flexibility and ability to deliver a ‘high kinetic’ effect.
Whilst these exercises are of course vital for military planners in training for battlefield scenarios, they also allow the UK to gain feedback on performance and showcase UK technology to the rest of the world.
In a market where exportability is becoming more and more important, the globally reported success of the Typhoon in particular, can only help to further demonstrate to emerging markets the impressive air-to-air and air-to-ground ability the aircraft has – and the important contribution UK industry makes to this capability.