German fighter jets on marathon 24-hour flight to Singapore

The deployment demonstrates the European nation’s ability to rapidly mobilize air power in the Indo-Pacific region.

A group of German Air Force fighter jets were due to arrive in Singapore after a marathon bid to fly some 12,800 kilometers (8,000 mi) from their home base to Southeast Asia in 24 hours.

The planned arrival of the jets on Tuesday shows the European nation’s ability to move air power quickly to the region and comes at a time of heightened tensions between China and the United States and its allies on Taiwan.

In September, the European Union announced a new strategy to boost economic, political and defense ties in the Indo-Pacific region.

German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht told reporters that while the war in Ukraine is the priority at the moment, Germany’s Eurofighter mission underscores that Asia has not been forgotten.

“We stand by all those who stand for our values, such as democracy, freedom and security, and are willing to contribute,” he said as she was flown by German air force planes from Neuburg, Germany, on Monday. DPA news agency reported.

“At the moment our focus is naturally on the eastern side, which is responsible for Russia’s brutal war of aggression, but we have to keep an eye on other regions as well,” Lambrecht said.

Part of the EU’s new strategy for the Asia Pacific is focused on improving maritime security and ensuring safe passage through the sea lanes, and several European nations have sent naval assets to the region this year to battle.

As China becomes increasingly assertive in the region, the United States, Britain and others have also increasingly prioritized the Indo-Pacific.

Germany sent the frigate Bayern on a nearly seven-month deployment to the region that was wounded earlier this year, the first time a German warship has been in the Indo-Pacific for nearly two decades.

Byrne took part in joint exercises with allies Australia, Singapore, Japan and the US and was denied a port call in China.

‘Pitch Black’ Exercise

Among the six multirole Eurofighter jets involved in the current exercise were four transport aircraft and three tankers. On long flights they were refueled mid-air and also provided stops along the way for refueling, inspection and rotation of the pilots.

During a stopover at a base near Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Germany’s air force, the Luftwaffe, said two of the Eurofighters were found to have technical problems. One was fixed on site but the other was held back due to a hydraulic system fault.

The Luftwaffe said personnel had been dispatched from Germany to make it available for further repairs for an upcoming military exercise in Australia, where all aircraft are en route to 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.

In addition to Germany, European NATO members include France, Britain, and the Netherlands, along with the United States, New Zealand, Korea, the UAE, India, Japan, Thailand, and others.

The Royal Australian Air Force said the exercise was designed to test and improve multinational force integration and to “recognise Australia’s strong ties and the high value we place on regional security and foster closer ties across the Indo-Pacific region.”

After taking part in exercises from August 19 to September 8 in Australia, the German planes will stop in Japan and South Korea on their way home to Germany.

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