Electronic warfare trials take to the skies above Yorkshire

GROUND-BREAKING trials for electronic warfare have been undertaken at a Yorkshire air base as part of a Europe-wide programme to develop new technology.

NATO personnel from the UK, Poland and Turkey were based at RAF Leeming throughout the tests, and the results are now expected to be used to form the foundation of future operations. RAF Leeming hosted about 50 Turkish and 30 Polish personnel along with five F-16 aeroplanes, and was chosen to carry out the tests as it has an extensive background linked to jet fighters.

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Wing Commander Fin Monahan, the Officer Commanding Operations Wing, claimed RAF Leeming is “ideally situated” for supporting a wide range of exercises, which have this year included helicopter training programmes ahead of Afghanistan operations and a major role in preparing for the air defence of the Olympics in London during the summer.

Exercise Trial Mace XIV was the latest in a series of initiatives which have been run by NATO countries since 1978. The first trials were conducted for the development of “chaff” – a technique that was originally developed during World War Two to decoy radar systems and effectively “mask” aircraft.