RAMSTEIN, Germany – The first iteration of the Royal Air Force-hosted multinational live-fly exercise Cobra Warrior 2023 is underway with air force detachments from the Belgium and the United States, as well as – for the first time – from Finland, India and Saudi Arabia.
While participants started to arrive on February 27, the exercise live-fly activities involving 70 aircraft run from March 2 to 24. Exercise Cobra Warrior takes place twice a year and is the largest air exercise run by the Royal Air Force. It is designed to train participants in high intensity, large force, tactical air warfighting operations and is being directed by staff at RAF Waddington.
Cobra Warrior provides an invaluable opportunity for international Allies and Partners to train together in developing operational tactics in the air
“It is wonderful once again to welcome our fellow RAF and international colleagues to RAF Waddington to participate in this world class air exercise,” said Group Captain Mark Lorriman-Hughes, the RAF Waddington Station Commander. “Cobra Warrior provides an invaluable opportunity for international Allies and Partners to train together in developing operational tactics in the air,” he added.
The Royal Saudi Air Force operates six Eurofighter Typhoons out of RAF Coningsby.
Photo by Royal Air Force.
Indian pilots in front of a Mirage 2000 at RAF Waddington getting ready for exercise Cobra Warrior 23-1 .
Photo courtesy Indian Air Force.
A Finnish Air ForceF-18 taking off from RAF Waddington in support of exercise Cobra Warrior 23-1.
Photo courtesy Finnish Air Force.
One of six Belgian Air Force F-16s taking off from RAF Waddington for a sortie during exercise Cobra Warrior 23-1.
Photo courtesy Finnish Air Force.
Besides US aircraft based in the United Kingdom, the Royal Saudi Air Force operates six Eurofighter Typhoons out of RAF Coningsby. Five Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 aircraft, six Belgian Air Force F-16s and six Finnish Air Force F-18s will be flying out of RAF Waddington. The Finnish participation is part of a wider training activity in support of the UK led Joint Expeditionary Force, known as JEF Warrior.
RAF Voyager aircraft flying from RAF Brize Norton are supporting the fast jets conducting air-to-air refuelling operations. In addition, UK Joint Helicopter Command aircraft will be participating, basing at RAF Lemming. The RAF’s Air Mobility Force will be taking part in the exercise, with sorties including deploying elements of 16 Air Assault Brigade during an associated ground mission, that forms part of the overall exercise scenario.
“We are looking forward to delivering Exercise Cobra Warrior 23-1,” said Squadron Leader John Mcfadden, the Officer Commanding 92 Squadron, that runs the exercise with the RAF’s Air & Space Warfare Centre. “Our staff at 92 Sqn have developed a challenging Air-led multi-domain exercise focused on pitting our NATO, JEF and International partners against a capable peer adversary within a challenging and complex environment,” he concluded
Over three weeks exercise participants will bring together their capabilities and deliver the full spectrum of Air Operations, including Defensive and Offensive Counter-Air as well as Strike Operations. These will include RAF Regiment Precision Strike Teams, Air Manoeuvre operations to support ground forces, and also further developing a Joint Personnel Recovery Capability.
LThe exercise aims to synchronise multi-domain effects and so includes not just the Air domain, but also Space and Cyber and for this iteration Land as well. The Air Space for the exercise includes parts of the North of England and Scotland plus out over the North Sea.