SHAH ALAM: Typhoons not in Bersama Gold 2021. Due to Covid 9, RAF Typhoons are not taking part in the latest iteration of the FPDA exercise, Bersama Gold 2021, which was officially launched yesterday.
And it is also unlikely the F-35Bs embarked on HMS Queen Elizabeth will also take part in the exercise. RAF had previously announced the deployment of the Typhoons for XBG2021 earlier this year. Apart from the Typhoons, the Red Arrows, the RAF demonstration team also cancelled its unannounced visit to the region due to the pandemic. For an overview of the XBG21 go here.
It is unclear whether the UK will be taking part in the FPDA 50th Anniversary flypast planned at RMAF Subang this Oct. 21. Queen Elizabeth and her carrier strike group will be in Singapore this week though it is unknown whether the embarked F-35s will take part in the flypast. I was told that the CSG may well sailed out of this region later this week.
From Singapore Ministry of Defence release on the BG2021.
Exercise Bersama Gold 2021 is a Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) tri-service exercise involving assets and personnel from Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the United Kingdom. Traditionally known as Exercise Bersama Lima, this year’s exercise was specially named Exercise Bersama Gold 2021 (XBG21) to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of FPDA. The 50th anniversary date falls on 1 Nov 2021, and the FPDA will mark this milestone year with a series of activities and events.
XBG21 is the first FPDA exercise to be conducted physically as a field training exercise since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and has incorporated COVID-19 precautions. Held from 4 to 18 Oct, XBG21 will see the participation of 2600 personnel, 10 ships, one submarine, six maritime helicopters, three maritime patrol aircraft, 25 fighter aircraft, two support aircraft, and one command and control aircraft.
XBG21 will comprise contactless maritime and air components and a virtual land workshop. Naval assets will be involved in a contactless exercise held in the southern parts of the South China Sea in international waters, where serials such as anti-air and anti-submarine exercises, gunnery firings and manoeuvring drills will be conducted. Air forces from the FPDA member-nations will exercise with each other in air serials such as air defence exercises, and support the maritime component in anti-submarine exercises.
For the land component, a virtual jungle warfare workshop, which involves cross-sharing of jungle fighting doctrines and discussions on interoperability amongst FPDA member-nations’ land forces, will be conducted.
Despite the non-appearance of the Typhoons and F-35B, among the other aircraft involved in BG2021 are RAAF Super Hornets, P-8A Poisedon, RSAF F-16s and RMAF F/A-18D Hornets.
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