Panavia Tornado strike aircraft from Saudi Arabia and the UK have concluded their first joint exercise in the UK, with flight operations involving the nation’s 75 and 617 squadrons having concluded at the Royal Air Force’s Lossiemouth airbase in Scotland on 7 September.

Tornado pair 
© Crown Copyright

Six Tornado interdictor strike aircraft from the Royal Saudi Air Force’s Dhahran airbase arrived at Lossiemouth on 22 August, with flight activities having peaked on 5 September with a major operation also involving 617 Sqn Tornado GR4s, plus RAF Eurofighter Typhoon and Tornado F3 interceptors and a Boeing E-3D Sentry airborne early warning and control aircraft.

 Tornado reheat
© Craig Hoyle/Flight International

Originally referred to as ‘Saudi Sword’ but later renamed ‘Saudi Green Flag’, the exercise was the first time that Saudi Arabia has deployed its Tornados beyond the Gulf region, and also represented an opportunity for the service to demonstrate the long-range capabilities of its air transport and air-to-air refuelling fleets.