´Rapid Pacific´ goes down under

Last week, Eurofighter EF 2000 jets assigned to the 74th Tactical Air Wing (Taktisches Luftwaffengeschwader 74 – TaktLwG 74) in Neuburg an der Donau (also known as the Bavarian Tigers), successfully landed in Darwin, Australia. It is the first time since re-establishment of Luftwaffe in 1955, when German combat aircraft are visiting the land ´down under´.

The Luftwaffe tactical group of six Eurofighters, four Airbus A400M Atlas airlifters and three Airbus A330MRTT air tankers left Germany on 15th August 2022. Within that deployment – code named ´Rapid Pacific 2022´ – the German armed forces want to enhance their military presence in the Pacific region, show the capability of rapid transfer of the air power from Europe to the other side of the globe, establish interoperability with new air forces, as well as support the allied nations there by share engagement toward common strategic goals.

The flight of German aircraft led through the United Arab Emirates, Phuket and Singapore, where stopovers were scheduled. One of significant achievements of that deployment was that Singapore, a location more than 10,000 kilometres far from Germany, was achieved in less than 24 hours since departing Neuburg air base. Most of the route was set over the seas, with just a short legs flown over the Middle East and India.

Nevertheless, while landing in the UAE, one of the Eurofighters reported issues with hydraulic installation and therefore had to stay there for two days, waiting for spare parts to arrive. The maintenance was done by German technical crew travelling in one of the A400Ms and finally the EF 2000 arrived to Darwin in the evening of 19th August.

Eurofighter 2000 of TaktLwG 74 in Neuburg air base

The German tactical team is planning to stay in the Pacific for a few weeks, participating in joint exercises with allied forces and visiting main military powers in the region, such as Japan and Southern Korea. The first of those training activities, an Australian-led exercise ´Pitch Black 2022´, was already launched end of last week.

´Pitch Black´ is the biannual live-fly training, considered the largest exercise of that kind in the southern hemisphere. Among its participants there are usually countries located in the Pacific area, or have their dependent territories there – Australia, Canada, India, Indonesia, France, Malaysia, the New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States. This year´s edition gathered sixteen countries that deployed approximately one hundred aircraft and 2,500 of personnel. The ´Pitch Black 2022´ was also marked by the first participation of the German, Japanese and South Korean aircraft.

The ´Pitch Black´ exercise is planned to be concluded on 9th September 2022. Shortly thereafter, the German aircraft will participate in ´Kakadu 2022´, an exercise organized by the Royal Australian Navy. This year´s edition is expected to be the largest to date, as well as the largest international maritime activity hosted by the Royal Australian Navy.

Then, the German tactical team will participate in joint training with the Singapore Air Force and next, after more than a month since its arrival to the Pacific region, will visit Japan mainland and Southern Korea.

On the occasion of Pacific deployment, one of TaktLwG 74 Eurofighters was named ´Air Ambassador´ and painted in a special livery, including flags of Germany, Singapore, Australia, Japan and Southern Korea.

Eurofighter 2000 of TaktLwG 74