Nato Tiger Meet 2014

By tigerstaffel

Since the 1960s flying squadrons from the NATO meet at a special exercise, in order  to exchange their experience and demonstrate thoir communion. In 1961 it was a comfortable weekend but it has been grown to one of the biggest flying exercises in Europe.

Since the beginning the tiger-squadrons have met almost every year on different places in Europe for training the interoperability and common tactics. In times of data-link and technically highly developed aircraft these are important advantages.

Ein tschechischer Gripen mit Tiger-Sonderbemalung
A Czech Grippen with a special tiger painting

The main focus of the Tigermeet is the Composite Air Operations (COMAO). In such scenarios up to 50 aircraft fight at the same time. The fight itself takes place beyond the visual range of the pilots. The required information is obtained by the radar of the aircraft and the Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) broadcasted by LINK-16. The tactical planning is based on the responsibility of a single pilot. Thus one of the highlight in every career. A lot of coordination has to be done before such a complex task can be achieved. For example, a airborne refueling aircraft can enhance the endurance of the fighter aircraft significantly. But this important resource has to be used efficiently.

Eine Saab 105 während einer gemeinsamen Übung mit einer belgischen F-16

  A Saab 105 together with a F-16 from Belgium

The Austrian Airforce has been participating in the Tigermeets since 2005. Initially some observers were sent, but since 2011 the Jettrainer-Squadron participates actively with the Saab J 105 OE. The emphasis is the exchange of experience with other squadrons. The gained knowledge has an direct influence on the jet-training in Austria, because one of our main tasks is to prepare young pilots before they convert towards the Eurofighter. Furthermore we train a complex task such the relocation of several aircraft.


Die Wartung der Flugzeuge funktioniert auch auf einem fremden FlugplatzMaintencance works well even on a foreign air base

The Tigermeets are different from other exercises. The reason is that they are organized from squadrons for other squadrons. Higher commands are knowingly not part of the exercise, enabling the pilots to achieve the maximum output.

Abzeichen der Nato Tiger Association

Insignia of the Nato Tiger Association

If a squadron wants to become a member of the Nato Tiger Association (NTA), it has to fulfill some requirements. Firstly it has to have a “cat of prey” in their squadron patch. Secondly the squadron has to demonstrate “tiger-spirit”. This can be done by e.g. painting an aircraft in a special tiger-schemes. The “Austrian Tigers” became a full member of the NTA in 2013. This membership is not self-evident. Several squadrons have been banned from this unique association.

Beim "International Evening" serviert die DüTrainSta Österreichische Spezialitäten“International Evening”

In 2014 the Tigermeet took place in Schleswig, Germany. 16 squadrons from 11 nations with different types of aircraft participated in the NTM14. Jets like the F-16 “Fighting Falcon”, Rafale, Eurofighter, Saab J 105 OE and helicopters like the HM Mk 1 “Merlin” und Mil Mi-24 “Hind” were brought to Schleswig. Host of this huge exercise was the Tactical Air Force Wing 51 “Immelmann”. Overall 735 sorties were planned and 617 were actually flown.

In 2015 the Tigermeet will be held in Konya (Türkey). The pilots of the Tigerstaffel are looking forward to participating in this extraordinary exercise.