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Lakenheath’s USAF F-15s in ‘dogfights’ with RAF’s latest fighters

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USAF F-15 fighters from Lakenheath have been taking on the RAF’s most advanced fighter, the Typhoon.

RAF pilots from RAF Coningsby were based at RAF Lakenheath on Monday and Tuesday for what the USAF calls ‘dissimilar air combat training’but most people would call dogfights against the USAF 494th Fighter Squadron.

The USAF say the training session consisted of mock air-to-air combat fights so the pilots could test the capabilities of their own and the opposing aircraft. They had mock ammunition and each pilot would call out on the radio whenever they were ‘hit’.

The F-15 entered service 30 years before the Typhoon and, though it has had many updates, the RAF fighter uses the latest computer flight control to give it phenominal manouvrability.

A Typhoon evaluator pilot from the RAF’s 41 Typhoon Test and Evaluation Squadron said: “It’s great practice for both parties to go against a different aircraft,

“The F-15 gets an opportunity to fight a superior performing threat and we get to fight against a very capable weapons system and highly maneuverable missile.”

Capt Joseph DiCocco, a 494th FS weapon systems officer, said: “They reached out to us for some dissimilar flights and it’s something we definitely wanted to do. We want to integrate more with our host nation partners, so when we saw the offer, we snatched it up.

“It’s a lot of fun and a lot of learning at the same time. Definitely beneficial for both sides seeing a different side of how to fight in the air. We would definitely be happy to do this again.”