German fighter jets on marathon 24-hour flight to Singapore | News
The deployment is said to demonstrate the ability of a European country to rapidly project air power to the Indo-Pacific region.
A group of German air force fighters is expected to arrive in Singapore after a marathon to fly them some 12,800 kilometers (8,000 miles) from their local base to Southeast Asia in just 24 hours.
The expected arrival of the jets on Tuesday demonstrates a European country’s ability to rapidly transfer air power to the region and arrive at a time Tensions are rising between China and the United States and its allies over Taiwan.
The European Union announced a new strategy in September to promote economic, political and defense ties in the Indo-Pacific region.
German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht told reporters that although the war in Ukraine is a priority at the moment, Germany’s Eurofighter mission emphasizes that Asia has not been forgotten.
“We stand with all those who support our values such as democracy, freedom and security, and are also ready to contribute,” she said as the German air force plane took off from Neuburg, Germany, on Monday, the dpa news agency reported.
“Our focus right now is of course on the eastern flank, which is to blame for Russia’s brutal war of aggression, but we also have to keep an eye on other areas,” Lambrecht said.
We are on our way to Singapore. We just did it again.# RapidPacific2022 @ A330_MMU pic.twitter.com/KrMr2xbQeX
– Team Luftwaffe (@Team_Luftwaffe) August 16, 2022
Part of the EU’s new strategy for the Asia Pacific is focused on improving maritime security and ensuring safe passage of sea lanes, and a number of European countries have sent naval forces to the region. troops to the region for exercises this year.
As China becomes more assertive in the region, The US, UK and others are also making the Indo-Pacific a growing priority.
Germany has sent the frigate Bayern to the region in a deployment that has lasted nearly seven months since the beginning of this year, the first time a German warship has been in the Indo-Pacific in nearly two decades. .
Bayern participated in joint exercises with allies including Australia, Singapore, Japan and the US, and was denied port calls in China.
Exercise ‘Pitch Black’
The six multirole Eurofighter jets participating in the exercise are currently escorted by four transport planes and three tankers. They were refueled in the air during the long flight, and also stopped en route to refuel, check and rotate pilots.
During a stopover at a base near Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, the German air force, the Luftwaffe, reported that two of the Eurofighters had been found to have technical problems. One was repaired on site, but the other had a hydraulic failure and was kept.
The Luftwaffe said staff had been sent from Germany to further repair it so it could be ready for upcoming military exercises in Australia, where all aircraft are headed after Singapore.
The exercise known as Pitch Black brings together about 2,500 personnel and 100 aircraft from around the world over three weeks in Australia’s Northern Territory.
In addition to Germany, European NATO members France, the UK and the Netherlands are also joining the US, New Zealand, South Korea, UAE, India, Japan, Thailand and others.
The exercise is designed to test and improve multinational force integration, and “recognize Australia’s strong relationship and the high value we place on regional security and foster closer ties throughout the Indo-Pacific region,” said the Royal Australian Air Force.
After participating in drills from August 19 to September 8 in Australia, the German jets are expected to make stops in Japan and South Korea on their way back to Germany.