SHAH ALAM: COPE Taufan 2016 – the biennial exercise between RMAF and USAF – is expected to be held in August this year. Although the exact dates have yet to be officially announced it is expected between mid-July and before the end of August.
In 2014, the exercise was held in mid-June but as June this year is also the time for Ramadan, the exercise dates have been bummed back. As usual the USAF contingent is expected to be based at the Butterworth air base in Penang while the RMAF contingent will take part from their respective bases.
Cope Taufan 2014 was the most publicly known exercise since the Cope Taufan series start in late 90s due to the presence of USAF fabled F-22 Raptors, its first deployment to the region. Six Raptors from the 154th Wing, Joint Base Peal Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, took part in the Large Employment exercise.
It is not yet officially confirmed whether the Raptors will also be involved in Cope Taufan 2016. Their participation (or not) is expected to be announced as the exercise gets nearer. Anyhow if the Raptors are not deployed, USAF regular participants, the F-15C Eagles will surely be involved. USAF transport aircraft like the C-17 Globemaster and C-130 Hercules are also expected to be in the contingent.
An excerpt from Dzirhan Mahadzir article on Cope Taufan 2014 featured in the Star. Malaysian Defence own article on the exercise is one of those which went missing after the server crash last year
“The exercise scenario revolved around a hypothetical enemy threatening the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia and the South China Sea with the USAF and RMAF aircraft alternating between playing the defenders and attackers.
For example, one mission exercise had a force of eight USAF F-15s intercepting two RMAF C-130s and a USAF C-17 which were escorted by four RMAF Su-30MKMs, six USAF F-22s, two RMAF Mig-29s and two RMAF F-18s.
A whole range of other missions were carried out, ranging from resupply drops to downed pilot rescue, night parachuting and a large number of DACT (Dissimilar Air Combat Training) exercises in which the two countries’ fighters conducted mock dogfights against each other in one-on-one and two-on-two scenarios. The smaller RMAF Hawks were used in a two-on-one scenario against one USAF aircraft.
The DACT results were of great interest globally as many wanted to know how well the RMAF would perform against the F-22 Raptor, but neither side would officially release information on the outcomes, saying it was purely a matter for the two air forces. It is learnt that the RMAF did indeed score some “kills” on the F-22s, including one by a Hawk, but the USAF also racked up its own tally of RMAF planes.”
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