For the first time ever, Hungarian Air Force Gripen and Royal Air Force Typhoons trained together by participating in the exercise Flying Sword.
The objective of Flying Sword, which was held at the Kecskemet Air Base Air Base between 30 July and 3 August, was to develop and enhance the operational effectiveness of Hungarian Gripen fighters, with the aid of several practice and training missions conducted with RAF Typhoons.
The air forces jointly planned and implemented several NATO operations and drills, with a goal to increase the combat readiness of the airplanes, especially from an interoperational perspective.
Though the Hungarian Air Force and the Royal Air Force have participated in joint training exercises before as well, it was the first time the RAF Typhoons and HuAF Gripen fighters trained together. The two fighters conducted both visual combat and beyond visual range missions on all days of the exercise.
“While the Typhoon is a twin-engine plane and Gripen is comparatively smaller in size, the two fighters performed seamlessly during the training drills,” said Csaba Ugrik, Brigadier General and Base Commander at MH 59. Dezső Szentgyörgyi Air Base.
According to RAF Squadron Leader Ellis Williams, Flying Sword was a great opportunity to learn from each other's experiences.
“We work on the same rules and tactics, so to operate with a different nation is quite comforting. It is exciting to train with different fighters, and different group of people. But ultimately, we are all growing, we are all maturing as pilots, we are exchanging ideas, and we are exchanging tactics, so it is really great,” he said.
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Image courtesy: RAF