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RAF Joined By US Aircraft For North Sea Exercise

Read: 808     15:07     15 November 2019    

American military aircraft have joined UK fighter jets in a training exercise over the North Sea.

The exercise, known as Point Blank, saw 35 aircraft from 10 units aiming to hone how allies will fight in real-world operations.
Co-hosted by the 48th Fighter Wing and the RAF, exercise Point Blank aims to provide realistic training for combat forces based in the UK, for a fraction of the cost of sending air personnel to the US.

Among those taking part was a United States Air Force (USAF) CV-22 Osprey, which is capable of vertical takeoffs and landings.

The tiltrotor aircraft, which can carry up to 32 troops and has a machine gun on its ramp, was refuelled over the North Sea from an MC-130J Commando II.

The cargo plane, based at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk, flies clandestine or low-visibility refuelling missions for special operations helicopters and tiltrotor aircraft, and can bring troops and supplies in and out of warzones.

During the exercise it was in turn refuelled from a KC-135 Stratotanker refueller plane.

The US aircraft were joined by British Typhoon fighter jets from RAF airbases at Coningsby in Lincolnshire and Lossiemouth in Scotland, which also took part in the exercise.

Speaking at a previous iteration of Point Blank last year, RAF Air Commodore Jez Attridge said he could see the "challenge that Russia is giving to the international rules-based order", adding "we are the insurance policy".


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