Malaysian exercise resounding success for RAF Typhoon squadron

Pilots and ground crew from Num­ber 6 Squadron have gained price­less expe­ri­ence in oper­at­ing the Tranche 2 Typhoon air­craft in unfa­mil­iar con­di­tions dur­ing Exer­cise Bersama Lima in Malaysia.

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6 Squadron Eurofight­er Typhoons on Exer­cise Bersama Lima in Malaysia [Pic­ture: Geof­frey Lee, Plane­fo­cus Lim­it­ed 2011]
Source: Min­istry of Defence, UK
Click to enlarge

This was the first over­seas deploy­ment of Tranche 2 Typhoon air­craft and the first deploy­ment of 6 Squadron since it reformed at RAF Leuchars in Sep­tem­ber 2010.

Dur­ing the exer­cise, four 6 Squadron Typhoons, rep­re­sent­ing the Roy­al Air Force, flew mock com­bat sor­ties along­side Roy­al Aus­tralian Air Force (RAAF) F/A‑18s, Roy­al Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) MiG-29s and F/A‑18s, and Repub­lic of Sin­ga­pore Air Force F‑15SGs and F‑16s.

6 Squadron suc­cess­ful­ly com­plet­ed more than 70 sor­ties dur­ing the detach­ment, amount­ing to 164 fly­ing hours. More­over, the squadron deliv­ered 100 per cent of the sor­ties it planned dur­ing the exer­cise itself.

Severe thun­der­storms and the effect of the extreme­ly long dis­tance on the sup­ply chain pro­vid­ed engi­neer­ing chal­lenges, but the over­all assess­ment is one of resound­ing suc­cess for the squadron.

Offi­cer Com­mand­ing 6 Squadron, Wing Com­man­der Rod­dy Den­nis, said:

“From my per­spec­tive as a Squadron Com­man­der, Exer­cise Bersama Lima pro­vid­ed an excel­lent oppor­tu­ni­ty to prove Tranche 2 Typhoon’s expe­di­tionary capa­bil­i­ties and its abil­i­ty to not only oper­ate in trop­i­cal weath­er con­di­tions and high humid­i­ty, which it did with­out impact, but also to con­duct air oper­a­tions with nations that we do not rou­tine­ly train with.

“In addi­tion, the oppor­tu­ni­ty to ‘fight’ against the RMAF MiG-29 Ful­crum was first class and saw Typhoon very well-placed, allow­ing the 6 Squadron pilots to take great con­fi­dence in the per­for­mance of Typhoon and it’s weapon sys­tem.

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6 Squadron Eurofight­er Typhoons fly­ing along­side air­craft refu­elling from a 101 Squadron VC10 dur­ing Exer­cise Bersama Lima in Malaysia [Pic­ture: Geof­frey Lee, Plane­fo­cus Lim­it­ed 2011]
Source: Min­istry of Defence, UK
Click to enlarge

“It was also extreme­ly use­ful to oper­ate close­ly with the deployed RAAF F/A‑18s from 75 Squadron who use sim­i­lar oper­at­ing pro­ce­dures and tac­tics.”

Exer­cise Bersama Lima marked the 40th anniver­sary of the Five Pow­er Defence Arrange­ments (FPDA) between the UK, Malaysia, Sin­ga­pore, Aus­tralia and New Zealand.

Estab­lished in 1971, the FPDA is a com­mit­ment under­tak­en by the five nations to con­sult in the event of an attack on Sin­ga­pore or Malaysia. It is the only mul­ti­lat­er­al defence agree­ment in South East Asia with an oper­a­tional ele­ment.

The joint exer­cise saw the par­tic­i­pa­tion of around 4,000 troops, 68 air­craft, 18 ships, two sub­marines and var­i­ous sup­port ele­ments from the FPDA mem­ber nations.

The four RAF Typhoon air­craft from 6 Squadron flew to the Roy­al Malaysian Air Force base in But­ter­worth, Malaysia, from their base at RAF Leuchars in Fife, Scot­land, to take part in Exer­cise Bersama Lima.

The 7,000-mile (11,265km) trip took the pilots four days with stops in Jor­dan, Oman and Sri Lan­ka, sup­port­ed through­out by engi­neers and ground crews as well as a VC10 air­craft of 101 Squadron based at RAF Brize Nor­ton. See Relat­ed News to read more on this.

Press release
Min­istry of Defence, UK

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