The annual Saudi Arabian-hosted Spears of Victory exercise drew to a close on 15 February, with the activity having involved more than 60 aircraft from nine nations.

Staged from the Royal Saudi Air Force’s (RSAF’s) King Abdulaziz air base near Dhahran from 4 February, the event represented “one of the largest multinational exercises hosted by a US partner in the [Middle East] region”, US Air Forces Central (AFCENT) says.

Joining an RSAF contribution of Boeing F-15s, Eurofighter Typhoons and Panavia Tornados were a mix of combat types from France (Dassault Aviation Rafale), Greece (Lockheed Martin F-16), Oman (Typhoon), Pakistan (Chengdu/Pakistan Aeronautical Complex JF-17), Qatar (F-15), the UK Royal Air Force (Typhoon), United Arab Emirates (F-16) and the USA (Boeing KC-135).

AFCENT notes that the US military’s involvement also included “experts across the fields of command and control, security forces, and other critical operations”.

“The exercise provides opportunities to develop tactical proficiency, improve interoperability, strengthen military relationships and increase flexibility to address existing and emerging threats,” it says.

“During the exercise the nations flew together in mixed groups to conduct air operations against a simulated peer adversary,” the RAF says. “Each contingent practised conducting defensive counter-air and offensive counter-air operations, as well as air interdiction training against live and simulated threats.”