ROYAL Air Force Typhoon fighter jets have carried out a series of exercises with visiting US B-52 bombers for the second time this year.

Images show the jets, based at RAF Coningsby, flying alongside the US Air Force craft and carrying out a practice intercept.

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RAF Typhoon fighter jets have carried out exercises with visiting B-52 bombers[/caption]

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Images show the jets, based at RAF Coningsby, carrying out a practice intercept[/caption]

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Recent months have seen British jets scrambled to meet Russian jets on numerous occasions[/caption]

The exercise is the latest in a series of air integration opportunities that have seen the two forces training to fly missions in hostile environments.

It marks a shift away from the counter-insurgency that has been the focus of operations in recent years.

The Typhoons carry out a range of duties, including quick reaction alert interceptions of foreign or suspicious aircraft entering UK airspace.

Recent months have British jets scrambled on numerous occasions to intercept Russian bombers approaching UK airspace.

August saw two incidents in one day, with jets from RAF Lossiemouth and RAF Brize Norton responding to two Russian Bear maritime patrol aircraft.

Air Vice-Marshal Ian Duguid, commander of No. 11 Group RAF, said of the latest exercises: “We have a longstanding and rewarding partnership with the United States Air Force having worked successfully together on operations and exercises and as part of NATO.

“That success is built on mutual respect and cooperation.

“The RAF is involved in operations with partners around the world and our commitment to the NATO alliance remains as steadfast as ever.”

The Coningsby Typhoons have recently returned from a four-month detachment in Estonia, where they patrolled the eastern flank of the NATO alliance as part of the Baltic Air Policing mission.

The mission is a peacetime collective intended to guard the airspace of Baltic states Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, and the deployment saw the Typhoons complete 21 interceptions of 56 Russian aircraft.

 

The Typhoon Force is also deployed to the Falklands and committed to operations in the Middle East.

It will soon be conducting air policing tasks from Iceland, the RAF’s first operational deployment to Iceland since the Second World War.

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The exercises were the second carried out by British and US forces this year[/caption]

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The Typhoons had recently returned from a four-month NATO missions in eastern Europe[/caption]

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An RAF commander said the UK’s commitment to NATO remains strong[/caption]


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