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RAF Voyagers Refuel French Jets Bound For Africa

The British tankers escorted four Mirage aircraft during the 4,000-mile journey.

The RAF has demonstrated its air-to-air refuelling capability alongside its French counterparts during a journey to Africa.

Two Voyager aircraft joined four Armee de l’air Mirage 2000 fighters headed to Djibouti in a combined mission, proving the joint force can send aircraft long distances at high speeds.

The jets were in the middle of a 4,000-mile journey to North East Africa when they were joined by the tankers.

British and French militaries are part of the Combined Joint Expeditionary Force (CJEF), which was recently declared fully operational.

The CJEF was founded in 2010 and is intended to ensure Anglo-French defence capability in air, maritime and naval environments across a wide range of scenarios.

A French Mirage jet refuels with the help of an RAF Voyager (Picture: RAF).

“It's great to see French Mirage aircraft taking fuel from an RAF Voyager yesterday as they flew from France to a French air base in Africa,” said Air Commodore Tim Below, Defence Attaché, Paris.

He added that the mission has “validated” procedures and that both militaries are “ready to act” under the CJEF.

The Long-Range Projection mission to Djibouti saw the jets pass over Mount Etna on their journey to their airbase.

Once they’ve arrived, the French forces will take part in Exercise SHAHEEN.

"In this case, two RAF Voyagers in the dedicated Tanker role transferred 90,000 litres of fuel in support of the French Mission to North Africa, with one forward-mounted in Greece to meet the transiting jets south of Crete for the final leg to Djibouti,” explained Flight Lieutenant Rob Webb, Air Mobility Force HQ.

“Missions of this nature allow the RAF to practise and demonstrate close integration with Allied Nations to extend and project military effect in support of Operations.”

Cover image: An RAF Voyager travels alongside French jets (Picture: RAF).