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The annual ELITE exercise once again attracted a lot of exotic aircraft to southern German airfields in order to train electronic combat of ground and air-based weapon systems.With numbers such as 17 paticipating nations, 1500 soldiers, 45 jets, 13 helicopters and 13 transport aircraft it is no wonder that ELITE (Electronic Warfare Live Training Exercise) is the Luftwaffe's biggest exercise.
Where? Southern Germany
While providing a training field with main emphasis on electronic warfare ("EW") for ground based and air based weapon systems ELITE’s goal is to improve combat success and the sustainability of electronic combat, to train joint and combined operations, to raise the confidence levels of combat crews and last but not least to analyse the multiple techniques that have been used during the missions. The main airfield was once again Lagerlechfeld airbase, that hosted most of the participating aircraft. This year's newcomers were Romanian MiG-21 Lancer, the most sought photo subject besides the Polish Su-22s. Interestingly the MiGs participated in each mission with an IAI-built EW-pod. Additionally to the Lechfeld-based Luftwaffe ECR Tornados Italian and British ones were present, providing a direct comparison between all the subvariants of this European fighter aircraft. The most modern aircraft were seemingly Greek F-16 Bl.52 in the single and twin-seater version.
Swiss AF at Manching
Participants at Lechfeld