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  • Writer's pictureMike Lintott-Danks

NATO Tiger Meet 2019

Tiger Meet 2019 this year was held in southern France at Base Aérienne 118 Mont-de-Marsan, with the local Rafale squadrons hosting a wide variety of aircraft from the members of this large force NATO exercise.

Both tiger squadrons from the Armée de l’Air are based at Mont-de-Marsan now, ECE 1/30 Cote d’argent and EC 3/30 Lorraine. They participated with a total of eight Rafales including both B and C variants and also three Mirage 2000Ds.

All participants are listed below: -

1 Squadron, Bundesheer - Linz SAAB 105Öe (2x) 31 Squadron, Belgian Air Component - Kleine Brogel F-16AM/BM (6x) EC 3/30, Armée de l’Air - Mont-de-Marsan Rafale B/C (4x) ECE 1/30, Armée de l’Air - Mont-de-Marsan Rafale B/C (4x) ECE 1/30, Armée de l’Air - Mont-de-Marsan Mirage 2000D (3x) EHRA 3, Aviation Légère de l’Armée de Terre - Etain-Rouvres Gazelle (3x) TLG51, Luftwaffe - Schleswig-Jagel Tornado IDS (2x) + ECR (2x) 12 Gruppo, Aeronautica Militare - Gioia del Colle EF2000 (4x) 21 Gruppo, Aeronautica Militare - Grazzanise AB.212ICO (2x) 301 Squadron, Força Aérea Portuguesa - Monte Real F-16AM/BM (5x) Ala15, Ejército del Aire - Zaragoza EF-18A/B+ (7x) 230 Squadron, Royal Air Force - Benson Puma HC.2 (2x) 814 Squadron, Royal Navy - Culdrose Merlin HM.2 (1x) 1 Squadron, NATO - Geilenkirchen E-3A AWACS (1x)

Mont-de-Marsan is a large base with plenty of room for all the participating aircraft to comfortably fit, with the Spanish and Belgians utilising the sun shelters for the duration of the exercise. These were particularly useful on the spotters day where rain replaced the usual spring sunshine. There were a number of visitors, flypasts and displays during the spotters day as well.

As with previous Tiger Meets the squadrons adorn their aircraft with a variety of eye catching schemes. The Armée de l’Air and Aviation Légère de l’Armée de Terre were the most striking with the Rafale having D-day stripes to help celebrate the 75th anniversary of the allied invasion of Europe and the ALAT Gazelle in its Roaring Three blue tiger paint scheme.

Next years Tiger Meet will be held in Portugal at Beja Air Base by 301 Squadron ‘Jaguares’. Airspeed Media will be there to cover this exercise.

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