The Tigers are go again! For the next two weeks, Konya airbase in Turkey is home to NATO’s Tiger Meet. However, this year’s gathering of tigers is noticably smaller than previous gatherings, with real-world events and other exercises taking their toll on the exercise.
Hosting the Tiger Meet is the Turkish Air Force’s 192 Filo, which nicely painted up at least two of their F-16s in tiger colours. Also taking part are F-16s from Poland, F/A-18 Hornets from Switzerland, Dassault Rafales from France, plus AB-212 choppers from Italy.
Cancellations Many NATO tiger units had to cancel their participation over deployments elsewhere. Dutch and Belgian F-16s currently see use in anger over Iraq, while Norwegian F-16s have just started Quick Reaction Alert duties over the Baltic states. Furthermore, Norway is busy preparing for large scale exercise Arctic Challenge, a joint Scandinavian training exercise starting 25 May. Also absent in Konya are Saab Gripens operated by the Czech Republic and Hungary. They prefer next week’s Lion Effort 2015 exercise at Čáslav in the Czech Republic over the Tiger Meet. Nevertheless, the Tigers will roar over Turkey for the next two weeks. The Tiger Meet is scheduled to end on 15 May. Click here for an impression of last year’s Tiger Meet. See more Tiger stuff here.
© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image: A French Rafale in special Tiger Meet colours is seen here leaving for Turkey. (Image © C. de Flesselles / Armée de l’air)