Image: Eurofighter Export Director Joe Parker presents the ceremonial sword to Officer Commanding 1 (F) Squadron Wing Commander Mark Flewin. Credit Eurofighter, G.Lee
The first swords were initially presented to the Chiefs of Air Staffs of the four Partner Nations; Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom at aircraft Type Acceptance in 2003. Ever since this event, the swords has been presented to each new squadron to symbolise the long-lasting, successful partnership between industry and air forces across the Eurofighter community.
At the stand-up ceremony, the sword was given to Officer Commanding 1 Squadron Wing Commander Mark Flewin by Eurofighter Export Director Joe Parker who welcomed the new squadron to the Typhoon family. “The Eurofighter Typhoon Sword symbolises the collaborative strength and partnership in the Eurofighter community. It symbolises the qualities of precision and excellence that we, industry, seek to embody in the core of the weapon system, and that the Air Force has so successfully employed in operations”.
1 (F) Squadron, whose motto is ‘In Omnibus Princeps’ – ‘First in all Things’ has a long and eventful history since its formation in 1912 which makes it the oldest military squadron in the world. The new Eurofighter Typhoon jets join an impressive list of iconic aircraft flown by the Squadron over the past 100 years including the Spitfire, Hunter and Harrier. With the end of the Harrier flights in 2010, the formal disbandment of the Squadron took place in January 2011 but has now been reformed.
Chief of the Air Staff for the RAF Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton who attended the event said: “Today, we mark the successful growth of our multi-role Typhoon Force with the stand-up of the fourth RAF Typhoon squadron. With the support of industry the Typhoon continues to go from strength to strength as a multi-role platform as demonstrated during operations over Libya and on a day to day basis controlling the air over the UK”.
Based at RAF Leuchars in Fife, Scotland, the new Squadron will fly alongside 6 Squadron which has been deploying Typhoons since 2010. The main responsibilities of the Squadron will be northern Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) duties and a secondary precision ground attack capability.
Enzo Casolini, Eurofighter CEO stated “This is another proud moment for the Eurofighter programme and highlights the breadth and depth of the Eurofighter fleet. The ever expanding family serves to highlight the aircraft as an effective, proven and trusted defence platform across our customer nations”.
Currently six nations and 18 units operate Eurofighter Typhoon at bases across the globe. To date, the programme has delivered over 338 aircraft and achieved more than 150,000 flying hours.