The Voyager Force aircraft is conducting Air to Air Refuelling sorties with the deployed Typhoons of II (Army Cooperation) Squadron that have also been deployed on the exercise. The Voyager’s ability to conduct AAR sorties enables the Typhoon pilots to extend their time in the air considerably. As a consequence, a wider range of missions at considerable increased range can be conducted.
Squadron Leader Nathan Giles, the Voyager Detachment Commander said: “This Voyager deployment is an important step for the force as it demonstrates our ability to operate at considerable range from our home base of Brize Norton and thereby enable the global projection of RAF air power.”
The Voyager is crewed during AAR sorties by two pilots and a Mission System Operator, whose role is to control the actual refuelling equipment. During exercise sorties, the Voyager has been airborne for up eight hours refuelling multiple pairs of Typhoons.
“The training value of Exercise Bersama Lima for the detachment is important as we overcome the challenges of operating in the difficult weather conditions of Singapore and Malaysia.”
Squadron Leader Nathan Giles
Voyager Detachment Commander
The RAF deployment to Exercise Bersama Lima this year has seen over 200 personnel exercise in the region. This has enabled the RAF Typhoons to conduct complex air activities with the Air Forces of the other participating nations.
The Five Powers Defence Arrangements brings the militaries of Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and the United Kingdom together in the region. The FPDA is, therefore, an important element of the UK’s relationship with Malaysia, Singapore and is a key regional defence arrangement.”