On Monday March 6, the latest iteration of the biannual Exercise Cobra Warrior (CW23-1) will take place over the skies of the United Kingdom.
Cobra Warrior is the largest exercise run by the RAF and focuses on aerial warfare on a large-scale utilising various assets including air refuelling, air mobility, ISR and helicopters. The exercise is organised and run by 92 Squadron along with the Air and Space Warfare Centre, both located at RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire. While RAF, locally based USAFE assets including the 48th Fighter Wing based at RAF Lakenheath and 100th Air Refueling Wing, based at RAF Mildenhall will take part in the exercise.
This year sees the debut of three new air arms participating, the Royal Saudi Air Force which has brought with it six Eurofighter Typhoons from 10 Wing based at Taif/King Fahd Air Base. This comprised five single-seat Typhoons and one two-seat Typhoon T, and are deployed to RAF Coningsby, Lincs and arrived as ‘Caser’ flight on February 27.
The other new participants include the Indian Air Force which has deployed five Mirage 2000s from 40 Wing based at Gwalior Air Base, made up of three two-seat Mirage 2000TIs and two single-seat Mirage 2000Is that arrived at RAF Waddington as ‘Vajra’ flight. The final new attendees are the Finnish Air Force who have brought with them six F/A-18C’s from HavLLv 31 at Kuopio-Rissala, which arrived at Waddington as FNF132 Flight.
The Finnish contribution is part of a larger training commitment with the RAF’s Joint Expeditionary Force, known as JEF Warrior. The final international fast-jet participants will be the Belgian Air Force with six F-16AMs from 10 Wing at Florennes. The Indian, Finnish and Belgian contingents all arrived at a rainy RAF Waddington on March 1.
Multiple support elements have also graced UK shores in the build-up to the exercise which officially runs from 02-24 March. Please see the below table which includes all support aircraft up to now. (03/03/23)
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