Tag Archives: Frisian Flag

More than 60 combat aircraft from eight NATO nations take part in Exercise Frisian Flag in the Netherlands

Frisian Flag 2017 was a large scale exercise organised by the Royal Netherlands Air Force.

From Mar. 27 to Apr. 7, Leeuwarden Air Base in the Netherlands hosted the tactical aircraft taking part in Ex. Frisian Flag 2017.

The purpose of the drills was preparing the participating units for a modern conflict or crisis support operation by strengthening cooperation between air arms of multiple NATO countries called to undertake joint training missions twice a day.

Whilst Leeuwarden in the north of the Netherlands, hosted the “tacair”, the supporting tankers (French Air Force C-135FR, Italian Air Force KC-767A, German Air Force A-310MRTT and RNlAF KDC-10) were based at Eindhoven airport in the south, with a NATO E-3 AWACS flying from Geilenkirchen, Germany, and a French AF E-3D from Avord, France.

Special Viper BAF

Portuguese F-16 about to land

The two-week long drills saw the assets split into two teams: the “Red Force”, that included the RAF Tornado GR4s and the French Mirage 2000s, and the “Blue Force” made of the Florida ANG F-15s, the Eurofighter Typhoons, as well as F-16s from Portugal, Belgium and the Netherlands.

RNlAF F-16 on final

A 31 Sqn Tornado GR4

FAF Mirage 2000

According to the RAF 31 Sqn that posted a short debrief after returning from the drills, missions flown during Frisian Flag included air defense, protection of other aircraft and attacking of ground targets on land and sea in a high threat environment, which included opposing fighter aircraft and ground based Patriot and SA-6 missile batteries.

Four ship about to break for the downwind leg

GAF Typhoon special tail

Photographers at work at Leeuwarden

All the images in this post were taken at Leeuwarden airbase by photographer Estelle Calleja.

A Dutch Viper in final

RNlAF F-16 during the base turn

Image credit: Estelle Calleja

GoPro footage of a dogfight between Dutch F-16 and U.S. F-15 over the North Sea

Join a Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16 during aerial combat against a U.S. F-15.

At the end of March 2015, 125th Fighter Wing, Florida Air National Guard, from Jacksonsville, Florida, deployed to Leewuwarden air base with 12 F-15C Eagle as part of the first Air National Guard TSP (Theater Security Package) in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.

From Apr. 13 to 24, the F-15s and supporting personnel (belonging to units from Florida, Oregon, California, Massachusetts and various bases throughout Europe grouped, regardless of their origin, in the 159th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron) took part in Frisian Flag 2015 one of the largest exercises in central Europe.

The footage in this post was filmed from the cockpit of a Dutch F-16 during a FF 2015 mission.

It shows the RNlAF “Viper” depart from Leeuwarden, join and refuel from an American KC-135 tanker launched from RAF Mildenhall, UK, over the North Sea, and engage a U.S. F-15 in a 1 vs 1 dogfight.

Watch the F-16’s pilot, wearing a JHMCS (Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System) maneuver under high g-loads to try to get a shot on the Eagle. The JHMCS, used also by the American F-15 pilots, is a multi-role system that enhances pilot situational awareness and provides head-out control of aircraft targeting systems and sensors. It can be used in an air-to-air role, combined with the AIM-9X missile, as High-Off-BoreSight (HOBS) system, to cue onboard weapons against enemy aircraft merely by pointing their heads at the targets to guide the weapons.

H/T to Giuliano Ranieri for the heads-up