THE Royal Air Force, the US and Dutch air force were training in a large scale air exercise over the North Sea earlier this month.

Exercise Point Blank is a regular quarterly exercise conducted by the Royal Air Force and the United States Air Force based in the UK, but for this exercise, US aircraft from other European air bases and the Royal Netherlands Air Force also took part.

RAF Typhoons were supported by Voyager tankers operating in formation to allow up to four fighters to simultaneously refuel.

Exercise Point Blank is a hugely valuable training opportunity for the RAF.

A spokesman said: "It allows us to practice integrating with fighters from the UK’s closest ally and other NATO partners, going up against a range of simulated modern air and surface-air threats.

"The different aircraft types each have their own strengths and weaknesses, but when combined together our lethality and survivability however is greatly increased.

"The only way to generate this formidable allied capability is to regularly train together, developing and improving our tactics."