Successful UAE-UK Air Force and Navy exercises have been held at Al Dhafra Air Base in UAE between the 18th November and the 1st December 2010.
The Royal Air Force Typhoons alongside UAE aircraft proved their effectiveness and sustainability qualities whilst operating in fierce desert conditions. Both air forces gained experience in ‘Dissimilar Air Combat Training Flights’ putting the Typhoon up against the UAE Air Force’s F-16 and Mirage 2000 jets as well as taking part in naval exercises over the Persian Gulf. The naval aspect included challenging attack and protection scenarios and involved the British HMS Cumberland ship.
Identifying the major aims of this exercise, Wing Commander Jez Attridge, Officer Commanding XI Squadron and for the duration of Ex AIR KHANJAR, Officer Commanding 906 Expeditionary Air Wing, stated to the UK MOD: “We’ve found the UAE Air Force to be very flexible in its operations and able to adapt well to working with us. They have some excellent aircraft that have integrated remarkably well with Typhoon”.
UAE-UK Operation Air Khanjar is not only serving to strengthen military ties, but also political and economic relations, as highlighted by the first state visit of Queen Elizabeth II since 1979, alongside William Hague, the British Foreign Secretary which preceded the exercise.