The UK Royal Air Force (RAF) has conducted an agile combat employment (ACE)-style temporary deployment of four Eurofighter Typhoons to Qinetiq’s Boscombe Down site in Wiltshire.

Involving four Typhoons and named exercise Agile Pirate 10, the deployment “tested our ability to rapidly disperse and operate assets vital to UK defence”, the RAF says.

RAF Typhoon Boscombe Down take-off

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Four Typhoons performed agile combat employment-style duties from Boscombe Down airfield

It notes that the combat aircraft were relocated from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire in a short-notice deployment “without prior notification”, and made ready to perform quick reaction alert duties.

“Support teams left 3 hours after activation and a day later the jets were operational,” it says. This also involved using an Airbus Defence & Space A400M Atlas tactical transport to deliver essential equipment.

The RAF has performed multiple previous temporary deployments of Typhoons away from its main operating bases for the type – Coningsby, and Lossiemouth, Scotland – including at RAF Northolt near London and Stornoway in Scotland.

RAF Typhoon at Boscombe Down

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Support personnel arrived at Wiltshire base within hours of redeployment

Also during the latest Agile Pirate activity, two Lockheed Martin F-35Bs were temporarily deployed to Boscombe Down from RAF Marham in Norfolk. 

It also earlier this year demonstrated ACE-style operations by temporarily positioning a pair of Typhoons each from RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus and on Baltic Air Policing duty at Amari air base in Estonia to take part in NATO’s Exercise Air Defender 23 manoeuvres from Hohn air base in Germany.

Story updated on 21 August with additional information about the deployment.