THE EUROPEAN AIR GROUP LOOKS TO THE FUTURE
The European Air Group (EAG) has been tasked by the Director EAG, Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford, to seek potential for multinational cooperation between 4th and 5th Generation aircraft in preparation for the introduction to service of the F-35.
The EAG has for several years facilitated a meeting of Eurofighter Typhoon operators from European nations in order to share common ground on training, operations, servicing and procedures. This highly successful forum, known as the Eurofighter Typhoon Interoperability Project (ETIP), has provided the template for work to be undertaken to integrate the next generation of combat aircraft into the order of battle.
Two EAG officers, Lt Col Jacobo Lecube (SPAF) and Lt Col Marco Schiattoni (ITAF) recently went to RAF Coningsby for a fact finding and liaison visit hosted by Sqn Ldr Paul Laugharne from the Typhoon Force Headquarters who are already actively engaged with the ETIP. The visit to RAF Coningsby permitted an insight into the many ways in which the F-35 can interoperate with Typhoon and other aircraft from European and NATO nations, such as the Rafale, Mirage 2000, F-18 and the F-16.
For Lt Col Schiattoni it was a return to Coningsby after many years, having previously flown the Tornado F3 on exchange from the Italian Air Force. Lt Col Lecube, a Spanish Air Force Test Pilot, was keen to see the Typhoon once again, an aircraft he flew on test and evaluation duties in Spain. Both officers are now based at the EAG Headquarters at RAF High Wycombe. For more information on the EAG, visit their website at www.euroairgroup.org