Royal Air Force Typhoon fighter jets and a Voyager aircraft have landed in Japan. Four Typhoon fighter aircraft, flown by No 2 (AC) Squadron pilots from RAF Lossiemouth, arrived at Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) Misawa Air Base, in the northern part of the island of Honshū on Saturday.
An RAF Voyager from RAF Brize Norton, crewed by No 10 and !01 Squadrons, provided air-to-air refuelling during the 3,500 mile (5,600 km) non-stop flight from Malaysia.
This marks the first bilateral exercise ever in Japan for the JASDF to host with foreign military other than the U.S. The Exercise, named “Guardian North 16”, represents an opportunity for both air forces to learn from each other and develop their skills.
In a formal arrival ceremony, Commander of JASDAF Misawa Air Base, Maj Gen Koji Imaki, greeted the RAF detachment and said: “Welcome to Japan, welcome to Guardian North. We look forward to working side by side with you in this epoch making exercise. Enjoy the long long history of Northern Japan.”
Wing Commander Roger Elliott, Officer Commanding 2(AC) Squadron and pilot of the first jet to land, said: “Thank you for such an amazing welcome here to Misawa Air Base. I’m absolutely positive that all members of my Squadron and detachment from across the Royal Air Force, will have a tremendous experience with the JASDF.
“I know that we will work together, I know that we will learn together. But most importantly I know that we will make friendships that will tie us together more closely in the future.”
RAF and JASDF exercising together in Japan delivers on an agreement made in January at the Foreign and Defence Ministers Dialogue (2+2).
F-15 fighters from Northern Air Defense Force (Chitose) Air Base (Hokkaido), and F-2 fighters from Northern Air Defense Force, Misawa Air Base will take part.
Typhoons will be supported throughout the detachment by RAF C-17 transport aircraft carrying essential engineering equipment.
The Typhoon FGR4 is a multi-role combat aircraft with air-to-air and ground attack capabilities.
It is extremely agile and designed to be highly maneuverable from speeds as low as 110 knots (126.5 mph) to supersonic. It can be supersonic within 30 seconds of takeoff.
The first Typhoons were delivered to the RAF in 2003. The first active Typhoon squadron became operational at RAF Coningsby in 2005. Typhoons took over responsibility for defending UK airspace in 2007 and were deployed to the Falkland Islands in 2009 to take over from the Tornado F3. They made their combat debut in Libya in 2011.
• Engines: 2 Eurojet EJ200 turbojets
• Top speed: Mach 2.0
• Length: 15.96m (52ft 3in)
• Maximum altitude: 55,000ft (17,000m)
• Wingspan: 10.95m (36ft)
• Aircrew: 1
Number 2 (Army Cooperation) Squadron was formed at Farnborough in Hampshire on 13 May 1912 as one of the original Squadrons of the Royal Flying Corps (RFC). Known as 'Shiny Two', the Squadron's mottos are 'Hereward' and 'Second to None'. The Squadron became the fifth front-line Typhoon squadron on 9 January 2015, based at RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland.
Number 2 (AC) Squadron contributes to the UK Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) mission which maintains a high state of readiness 24 hours a day, 365 days a year in defence of UK airspace.