Typhoons and F-35s for Bersama Lima This Year

The first of eight F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters from No. 617 Squadron (‘Dambusters’) landed on Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth on Sunday 2 May 2021 ahead of Exercise Strike Warrior. UK F-35B Fighter Jets operating from HMS Queen Elizabeth will join Operation Shader in the fight against Daesh. F-35B Lightning fast jets will be the cutting edge of the Carrier Strike Group’s (CSG21) formidable power in the air. These are next generation multi-role combat aircraft equipped with advanced sensors, mission systems and stealth technology, enabling them to carry out intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance tasks. This will be first time UK fighter aircraft are embarked on an operational aircraft carrier deployment since 2010 and will be the largest number of F-35Bs ever to sail to seas.

SHAH ALAM: RAF Typhoons and F-35s are scheduled to take part in the FPDA Bersama Lima later this year. Royal Air Force has announced that it is preparing to send Eurofighter Typhoon fighter aircraft and the Voyager tanker aircraft to South East Asia for Exercise Bersama Lima 2021 in October.

From a RAF release.

Exercise Bersama Lima 2021 scheduled for October, the major FPDA exercise of the year and which the RAF is currently planning to deploy Typhoons and a Voyager to take part in.

Exercise Bersama Shield 2021 was the first key event of the 50th Anniversary year for the FPDA. The next exercise will be Exercise Suman Warrior 2021 in July, hosted by Singapore, and then Exercise Bersama Lima 2021 in October, hosted by Malaysia.

In addition to this year’s exercises, the FPDA Defence Chiefs Conference will be held in June hosted by Malaysia. This will be followed by the FPDA Defence Ministers Meeting in October also in Malaysia.

RAF Typhoons operating out in the open at the Butterworth airbase for Bersama Lima 16. Crown Copyright.

Aviation website Alert 5 wrote:

The British government had earlier announced that the Carrier Strike Group will be participating in the same exercise as well.

This marks the second time that a RAF contingent is joining a British aircraft carrier for the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) exercise, usually carried out off Peninsular Malaysia in the South China Sea.

The first was back in 1988 when HMS Ark Royal came to the Far East for Exercise Lima Bersatu.

To prepare for Bersama Lima, FPDA member countries participated in Exercise Bersama Shield 2021, the first FPDA exercise since 2019 due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. The exercise, known as a Command Post exercise, was designed to prove the organisational structure of the Combined Joint Task Force Headquarters and confirmed the serviceability of the associated communications infrastructure.

The first of eight F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters from No. 617 Squadron (‘Dambusters’) landed on Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth on Sunday 2 May 2021 ahead of Exercise Strike Warrior.F-35B Lightning fast jets will be the cutting edge of the Carrier Strike Group’s (CSG21) formidable power in the air.
These are next generation multi-role combat aircraft equipped with advanced sensors, mission systems and stealth technology, enabling them to carry out intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance tasks.
This will be first time UK fighter aircraft are embarked on an operational aircraft carrier deployment since 2010 and will be the largest number of F-35Bs ever to sail to seas.

From RAF

In addition to personnel from the five nations based in Malaysia, the exercise also took place online for the first time, with personnel from Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and United Kingdom augmenting the Malaysian based personnel from their respective nations. This novel means of working has been assessed by the FPDA to have been a success.

A key element of the exercise was to use of the new Joint Warfare Centre at the Joint Force Headquarters in Kuantan, Malaysia for this exercise. This allowed the new facilities to be tested and potential issues identified, that can now be addressed. This will be essential for the successful conduct of Exercise Bersama Lima 2021 scheduled for October, the major FPDA exercise of the year and which the RAF is currently planning to deploy Typhoons and a Voyager to take part in.

Exercise Bersama Shield 2021 was the first key event of the 50th Anniversary year for the FPDA. The next exercise will be Exercise Suman Warrior 2021 in July, hosted by Singapore, and then Exercise Bersama Lima 2021 in October, hosted by Malaysia.

In addition to this year’s exercises, the FPDA Defence Chiefs Conference will be held in June hosted by Malaysia. This will be followed by the FPDA Defence Ministers Meeting in October also in Malaysia.

The FPDA exercises are designed to offer significant value, by enhancing cooperation on conventional military operations, building trust and confidence, developing greater people-to-people links and fostering interoperability between member nations’ armed forces.


— Malaysian Defence

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7 Comments

  1. So we get to see potentially 2 of the contenders for MRCA up close in action, eh?

    The tanker is also participating or just to juice the Typhoons on their way here? Would be interesting if we could do tanker exercises with that and also jointly with our A400M buddy tanker.

    Reply
    If we follow through with the plan to buy the MRCA in 2030-onwards only the F35s will be viable by that time

  2. Between F35A/B/C & F18 Super Hornet/Advanced Super Hornet, which is suitable, cost effective & practical for RMAF?

    Reply
    If its for tomorrow of course the Super Hornets but in 15 years, of course it will be the F35s, the A version

  3. “plan to buy the MRCA in 2030-onwards only the F35s”
    You know what. This is probably the one few times I’m glad we procrastinate and delay the buy order. For something that expensive, we shouldn’t go for something else that would be outdated soon enough. F35 cost price is dropping fast as more and more countries adopts it, in the past I’m skeptical we could afford it but if this trend continues…. a fleet of dozen F-35s @ USD$70mil isn’t that far fetched.

  4. Whats the most sensible LIFT to procure if the F35 is the targeted MRCA?

    Reply
    Either the M346 or T50. If we buy China designed one or Russian it is likely that we won’t get the permission to buy the F35s

  5. Hasnan – “Whats the most sensible LIFT to procure if the F35 is the targeted MRCA”

    Irrespective of what MRCA we buy in the coming years: the LIFT we buy now must be able to meet our needs fir at least the next 25 years. It has to have a modern cockpit architecture; must be able to truly replicate a MRCA and must have growth potential.

  6. @Tom Tom
    It depends. These are still developmental planes, TFX needing proper engines and further development partners, while KFX is still a 4.5gen plane that requires expensive further efforts to turn it into a true 5th gen. Either plane will need lotsa developmental monies and platform maturity before we even budget to buy the plane. By that time, F-35 cost per unit would have dropped to a more affordable level, perhaps cheaper than either, and we could simply buy a proven, widely adopted 5th gen off-the-shelf.

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