ELITE 2008 - Lechfeld
Photo Report
    ELITE 2008 - Lechfeld

    ELITE 2008 - Lechfeld

    Photographer: Frank Grealish
    Date: 9th & 10th July 2008
    Location: Lechfeld (ETSL), Germany

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    From the 3rd to the 17th of July Exercise Elite 2008 was held in Germany and IrishAirPics paid a visit to report on the flying activities.

    Exercise Background
    ELITE is an annual exercise run by the Luftwaffe with an strong emphasis on electronic warfare, ELITE standing for Electronic Warfare LIve Training Exercise.

    All flying activity is centred on the Heuberg Range which is located between Munich & Stuttgart. This range is the largest military training area in Germany and due to it�s terrain offers the perfect environment for concealing missile, electronic warfare & radar systems.

    A total of 19 different nations from NATO, the European Union (EU) and Partnership for Peace (PfP) participated, 5 nations were also present as observers. Each nation brought either aircraft or ground based weapons systems / electronic warfare systems while some nations brought both.

    Overall 17 ground based weapon systems, 46 fixed wing aircraft and 13 helicopters participated in the exercise.

    Ground-based air defence systems were employed to give their crews invaluable practice at targeting aircraft that were actively jamming or confusing their systems. On the flip side of this the presence of the ground based systems allowed the various aircraft to fly into an extremely hostile and dense, if somewhat unrealistic, air defence environment.

    750 missions were flown over the duration of ELITE, with aircraft operating from various bases in Germany and also from France. Fast jets were based at Lechfeld, Neuburg and Spangdahlem, transports and EW aircraft were based at Landsberg, helicopters were based Laupheim while Boeing E-3 aircraft were flying from Geilenkirchen and Avord, France.

    IrishAirPics would like to thank Lt Col Knoblach and all the ELITE Media Team for all their support and help during my visit to Heuberg & Lechfeld.