UK

RAF-USAF Joint Counter-Drone Tests Underway At RAF Lakenheath

The exercises at the Suffolk station began on Monday and will run until Friday.

Members of the Royal Air Force and US Air Force (USAF) have begun a joint test of counter-small unmanned aerial systems at RAF Lakenheath.

The RAF's 8th Force Protection Wing and USAF's 48th Fighter Wing will evaluate the effectiveness of their counter-drone platforms for point defence at the Suffolk base.

The tests will run until 6 November and are designed to test the compatibility of the systems and capability for integrated base defence, RAF Lakenheath said. 

The base added "several drone platforms" will be flown at Lakenheath between 09:00 and 16:00 across the week. 

Although a Royal Air Force station, Lakenheath hosts USAF units and personnel.

It is the largest USAF-operated base in England and the USAF's only F-15 fighter wing in Europe.

Last month, Lakenheath was one of the three UK bases used by US forces in their Mission Assurance Exercise.

August saw "surge" operations, or short periods of increased flying, operate from the base.

Demolition work began last year to prepare Lakenheath for the arrival of two squadrons of American F-35 jets in late 2021.

It will see the base become the first permanent international site for US F-35s in Europe.

Cover image: Library image of an American F-15C Eagle from 493rd Fighter Squadron at RAF Lakenheath in 2017 (Picture: US Department of Defense).