Exercise Cobra Warrior – full details released

The RAF has confirmed the full details of the international aircraft participation in the upcoming Exercise Cobra Warrior 23-1, which runs from March 2 to 24.

Seventy aircraft will be taking part with the first international attendees arriving at RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire yesterday in the form of six Royal Saudi Air Force Typhoons. While at RAF Waddington, also in Lincolnshire will be five Indian Air Force Mirage 2000s, six Belgian Defence – Air Component F-16 Fighting Falcons and six F/A-18 Hornets of the Finnish Air Force. The press release states: “The Finnish participation is part of a wider training activity in support of the UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force, known as JEF Warrior.”

UK-based US Air Force aircraft will also join the exercise, along with a variety of RAF assets with UK Joint Helicopter Command aircraft to be forward deployed to RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire.

A Royal Saudi Air Force Typhoons touches down at RAF Coningsby yesterday.
A Royal Saudi Air Force Typhoon touches down at RAF Coningsby yesterday. RAF/Crown copyright

Exercise Cobra Warrior is run twice a year and is the largest air exercise organised by the RAF. The exercise is designed to train participants in high intensity, large force, tactical air warfighting operations. 

Group Captain Mark Lorriman-Hughes, the RAF Waddington Station Commander said: “It is wonderful once again to welcome our fellow RAF and international colleagues to RAF Waddington to participate in the world class air exercise, that is Cobra Warrior. This biannual event provides an invaluable opportunity for international allies to train together in developing operational tactics in the air”.

Squadron Leader John Mcfadden, the Officer Commanding 92 Squadron, that runs the exercise with the RAF’s Air & Space Warfare Centre said: “we are looking forward to delivering Exercise Cobra Warrior 23-1. 92 Sqn have developed a challenging air-led multi-domain exercise focussed on pitting our NATO, JEF and international partners against a capable peer adversary within a challenging and complex environment.

All six of the Royal Saudi Air Force Typhoons taking part in Exercise Cobra Warrior 23-1 lined up at RAF Coningsby.
All six of the Royal Saudi Air Force Typhoons taking part in Exercise Cobra Warrior 23-1 lined up at RAF Coningsby. RAF/Crown copyright

“Over three weeks, we will bring together our capabilities and deliver the full spectrum of air operations, including defensive and offensive counter-air as well as strike operations. These will include RAF Regiment Precision Strike Teams, air manoeuvre operations to support ground forces, and also developing our Joint Personnel Recovery Capability”.