On Tuesday, 27 August four Typhoons and two Tornados from the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) arrived at RAF Coningsby for Exercise Saudi Green Flag 2013 which is due to start on 4 September.
A further two RSAF Tornados are expected to arrive this week and these will be joined by RAF Tornados from No. II (AC) Squadron, which will relocate from their base at RAF Marham for the length of the exercise and be partnered with the RSAF Tornados. The locally based RAF Typhoons of No. 3(F) Squadron will partner with the RSAF Typhoons.
The RSAF Typhoons consisted of one twin seat and three single seats, all of them from No. 3 Squadron but only the twin seat has squadron markings. They arrived as a four ship using the callsign Mazda 01 (more usually associated with USAF Coronet flights) with three drop tanks fitted and had air-to-air refuelling support from an RSAF A330 MRTT (callsign RSF3882), which landed at RAF Brize Norton.
The pair of RSAF Tornados arrived as Green 01 with 2250 litre tanks fitted and were in the newer grey scheme rather than the sand camo scheme they were in when they last visited the UK in 2007, when Exercise Saudi Sword was held at RAF Lossiemouth. A second A330 MRTT (RSAF3883) landed at RAF Brize Norton, but it is not yet clear whether this aircraft supported the Tornados as far as Grosseto AB, Italy, where the two airframes still due at Coningsby remain after one encountered a technical issue.
The exercise has also been supported by RSAF C-130 Hercules that have been ferrying equipment to RAF Coningsby since 23 August.