Anatolean Eagle 2023

Between 2nd May and 12th May 2023, the Türk Hava Kuvvetleri (THK – Turkish Air Force) hosted the usual International Anatolian Eagle 2023 multinational exercise (AE 2023-2) at the 3rd Main Jet Base, Konya, in central Turkey. Anatolian Eagle is a high level tactical training exercise providing realistic combat training opportunities for Turkish Air Force squadrons and allied nations. It is considered to be at the same level as the US Air Force’s Red Flag exercises and occurs several times a year. However, only one iteration includes significant numbers of allied nations.

Since it’s inception in June 2001, there have been 49 exercises, involving aircraft from 15 countries, split between European nations and nations to the east of Turkey, plus the USA and NATO. Nearly 39,000 personnel using over 3,100 aircraft have flown in excess of 25,000 sorties, clocking up over 40,000 flying hours whilst benefiting from the training. Other exercises are also flown from Konya, adding to these totals.

The objective of the exercise is to increase the operational training level of the pilots and air defense personnel in the most realistic operational environment and to develop joined and combined operational procedures.

 

Anatolean Eagle 2023 saw international participation, for the third consecutive year, from Azerbaijan with a pair of Sukhoi Su-25 Frogfoots. Also regular attendee was Pakistan who this year brought five Block 52 Lockheed Martin F-16C/D Fighting Falcons. They were joined by Qatar with five Eurofighter Typhoons, the United Arab Emirates with four F-16E/Fs, the United Kingdom with a further four Typhoons and NATO with a Boeing E-3A Sentry in the AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) role. The Royal Saudi Air Force was also scheduled to take part with Boeing F-15C Eagles but cancelled shortly before the exercise started. Turkish participation amounted to 24 F-16C/Ds from various squadrons and four McDonnell F-4E-2020 Phantoms, which all deployed to Konya for the duration of the exercise.

For a second year Azerbaijan’s Air force participated in Anatolian Eagle with two Su-25s.

 

 

 

Pakistan air force F-16D Block-52 from no. 5 Squadron (Falcons) takes off from Konya.

 

Azerbaijani Su-25 (Bort no. 27) takes off with two Turkish-made KGK-83 (Wing Assisted Guided Mark 83 bombs). The red star markings on the aircraft’s nose, symbolise the number of combat missions this particular Fogfoot carried out during the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with its neighbour Armenia.

 

The Qatar Emiri Air Force brought five of their recently delivered Eurofighter Typhoons; two twin seat aircraft and three single seaters.