RAF fly their ‘longest sortie ever’ in the fight against Islamic State


Recently, a pair of Typhoons flew for seven hours and 46 minutes on a mission which saw them attack and destroy a weapons cache before conducting a simultaneous strike against four truck bombs.

In a press release the RAF said that during the sortie the Typhoons refuelled on a number of occasions from RAF and Coalition air-air refuelling aircraft. After scanning the areas around the targets to ensure no civilians were present the targets were struck with a total of six Paveway IV precision guided munitions.

The Flight Lieutenant (who can’t be named for security reasons) that led the mission from RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus said:

“Whilst this sortie was the longest flown by RAF Typhoons to date the nature of the mission was no different to those flown day in day out over the past three years of this operation by both Typhoon and Tornado aircrew.

These sorties would not be possible without the tireless support of our ground crew and of the air-air refuelling team who enable us to remain on station for such long periods of time.”

These efforts are part of Operation Shader, the operational code name given to the contribution of the United Kingdom in the ongoing military intervention against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The operation began in Iraq on 26 September 2014, following a formal request for assistance by the Iraqi government.

Map showing the location of UK forces committed to Operation Shader. Credit: Ministry of Defence.

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