Exercise ‘Formidable Shield’ has brought two (now increased to four) F-16Cs from the 31st Fighter Wing to RAF Lossiemouth in northern Scotland. The exercise is one of the most sophisticated and complex of its type ever undertaken in the UK, the live exercise will be used to test NATO countries integrated air and ballistic missile defense capabilities.
As part of this, the F-16s are being used as launch platforms for AQM-37 Jayhawk target drones, and are flown by test pilots from the 40th FLTS at Eglin AFB, Florida.
Ships from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK, and the United States are participating in the live-fire integrated air and missile defense (IAMD) scenario, defending against subsonic anti-ship cruise missiles.
In addition, Gulfstream 2s N779LC and N178B operated the Missile Defence Agency are also participating.