ROYAL Air Force F-35B Lightning jets have passed another significant milestone by conducting their first exercise with UK based American F-15s and French Air Force Rafales, over the skies of East Anglia and the North Sea.
The 617 Squadron jets joined over forty other aircraft from the RAF, the United States Air Force and the French Air Force on Exercise Point Blank. This exercise was a first both for the F35s and the French Air Force and gave an opportunity for the three air forces to work together in a peer to peer scenario.
For the pilots of the F-35s the exercise gave an opportunity to continue to develop procedures to integrate 4th and 5th generation fighter aircraft. The exercise also aimed to improve the operational capability within the established tri lateral framework of RAF, USAF, French Air Force cooperation.
Explaining the significance of the exercise Air Commodore Jez Attridge the RAF Joint Force Air Component Commander said:
The US F-15s and French Rafale fighter jets in addition to the RAF F-35s Lightning Jets, joined RAF Typhoon, Hawk and Voyager aircraft to simulate air to air and air to ground conflict.
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Photographer: Cpl Lee Matthews RAF
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