BANGKOK (AP) — A group of German air force fighter jets approached Singapore on Tuesday in a marathon bid to cover nearly 12,800 kilometers (8,000 miles) from their home base to Southeast Asia in just 24 hours. could
The exercise comes at a time when tensions between China and the US and its allies are rising over Taiwan, and shows that a European country can quickly shift air power to the region.
The European Union announced in September a new strategy to enhance economic, political and defense ties in the Indo-Pacific. German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht told reporters that while the war in Ukraine is currently the priority, the Eurofighter mission shows that Asia has not been forgotten.
“We stand with all those who stand for our values of democracy, freedom and security, and are ready to contribute,” the dpa news agency said on Monday as the plane took off from Neuburg, Germany. are.” Reported
“At the moment our focus is naturally on the eastern flank, which is blamed for Russia’s brutal aggression, but we have to keep an eye on other regions as well.”
Part of the EU’s new strategy for the Asia-Pacific focuses on improving maritime security and ensuring safe passage through sea lanes, and several European countries have sent naval assets to the region this year for military exercises.
As China has become more assertive in the region, the US, UK and others have increasingly made it a priority.
Germany sent the frigate Bayern to the region on a nearly seven-month deployment that ended earlier this year, the first time a German warship has been in the Indo-Pacific in nearly two decades. She participated in joint exercises with allies including Australia, Singapore, Japan and the United States, and was denied a port call in China.
The current exercise involved six multi-role Eurofighter jets along with four transport aircraft and three tankers. They were refueled mid-air during long flights, and also stopped en route for pilots to refuel, inspect and rotate.
During a stopover at a base near the United Arab Emirates city of Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, Germany’s air force, the Luftwaffe, said two of the Eurofighters encountered technical problems. One was repaired on site but the other had a fault with its hydraulics system and was grounded.
The Luftwaffe said personnel had been sent from Germany to further repair it so that it would be available for the upcoming exercises in Australia, where all the aircraft are going after Singapore.
The so-called Pitch Black exercise is bringing together around 2,500 personnel and 100 aircraft from around the world for three weeks in Australia’s Northern Territory.
Apart from Germany, European NATO members France, Great Britain and the Netherlands, America, New Zealand, Korea, United Arab Emirates, India, Japan, Thailand and other countries are also participating.
The Royal Australian Air Force said the exercise was designed to test and improve multinational force integration, and “recognize the high value we place on Australia’s strong ties and regional security and the entire Indo-Pacific region.” I foster close relationships,” said the Royal Australian Air Force.
After 8 exercises in Australia, Aug. 19-Sept., German jets stop in Japan and South Korea on their way home.
This story corrects the distance covered by airplanes.