US and RAF aircraft in North Sea Point Blank exercise
- Credit: PA
American military aircraft based in East Anglia have joined UK fighter jets in a training exercise over the North Sea.
The recurring Point Blank exercise, which on Thursday included 35 aircraft from 10 units, aims to hone how allies will fight in real world operations.
Among those taking part were a United States Air Force (USAF) CV-22 Osprey, which can take off and land like a helicopter but has aeroplane-style wings.
The tiltrotor aircraft, which can carry up to 32 troops and has a machine gun on its ramp, was refuelled over the North Sea from an MC-130J Commando II.
The cargo plane, based at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk, flies clandestine or low-visibility refuelling missions for special operations helicopters and tiltrotor aircraft, and can bring troops and supplies in and out of warzones.
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During the exercise it was in turn refuelled from a KC-135 Stratotanker refueller plane.
The US aircraft were joined by UK Typhoon fighter jets from RAF airbases at Coningsby in Lincolnshire and Lossiemouth in Scotland, which also took part in the exercise.
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