RAF

RAF Typhoons Escort US Bomber Over North Sea

The B-1B Lancer bomber aircraft was conducting a long-range non-stop training sortie from the United States to mainland Europe and back.

Typhoon fighter jets based at RAF Lossiemouth have conducted a training sortie with an American bomber aircraft over the North Sea.

The US B-1B Lancer aircraft was on a long-range return journey from the US to mainland Europe, as part of a non-stop training sortie.

Typhoons from 1(F) Squadron escorted the B-1B over the North Sea, during its air-to-air refuelling, before it headed back across the Atlantic.

Major “NEWTL” Campbell, a US Air Force Exchange Officer with 1(F) Squadron, was one of the Typhoon pilots flying the sortie.

"It was fantastic for 1(F) Squadron to escort the B-1B Lancer through UK airspace after its mission in the Baltic region," he said.

“It was particularly humbling for me to play my part in this mission, escorting an American bomber in an RAF Typhoon as it flew through NATO airspace.”

The sortie was part of regular training activity between the RAF, US Air Force and NATO Allies, the RAF said.

An RAF Typhoon aircraft escorts a US B1B Lancer bomber over the North Sea as it is refuelled by a US KC135 Stratotanker (Picture: RAF).

The B-1B Lancer aircraft is a part of the USAF 28th Bomb Wing, based at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota.

It was refuelled by an aircraft based at RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk - a KC-135 Stratotanker from the USAF 100th Air Refuelling Wing.

The US sortie also involved integration and interoperability training with Polish F-16s and MiG-29s joining the B-1B over the skies of Warsaw, before escorting it over Latvia and Lithuania.

The Polish pilots then handed over to Danish F-16 fighters for the B-1B to go over Denmark's Bornholm Island, before the bomber’s stint over the North Sea, where it was escorted by the Typhoon fighter jets.

Group Captain Roger Elliott, Director of the Joint Force Air Component Headquarters that oversaw the training sortie, said: "These flying missions illustrate what the Royal Air Force is all about; opportunities for the RAF to work together with our NATO Allies developing our understanding of each other’s operating procedures and capabilities.

“By operating alongside the USAF, we demonstrate our capability, flexibility, and our commitment to NATO.”

Cover image: RAF.