The multinational Cobra Warrior exercise, hosted by the British Royal Air Force, concludes today. Six countries participated, including the US,
The multinational Cobra Warrior exercise, hosted by the British Royal Air Force, concludes today.
Six countries participated, including the US, the UK and Finland. The exercise trained participants in high intensity, tactical air war fighting operations. Cobra Warrior aims to synchronize operational air force capabilities between the different participating nations.
The biannual event is an opportunity to showcase international solidarity amid ongoing tensions with Russia. NATO members responded to recent Russian aggression in two ways—US nuclear bombers joined NATO fighter jets in a training mission this week to showcase the alliance’s strength, and the UK joined Germany in sending fighter jets to intercept Russian aircraft in Estonia.
Despite these displays of NATO unity, Kyiv continues to request air force support from its allies. In the nearer term, Ukraine may receive additional combat aircraft, but the same kind that it already operates, like MiG-29s. In the longer term, some NATO countries are considering sending non-NATO aircraft to Ukraine, however Ukrainian pilots would need to be trained on these new aircraft, delaying their ability to be fielded. Though only 7 NATO members hit the 2022 GDP defense spending target, the alliance plans to meet in July to jointly decide on new, long-term spending goals to stimulate defense industry officials to accelerate production.