NATO Tiger Meet 2010

Volkel, the Netherlands

4-15 October 2010



NATO's annual Tiger Meet for 2010 (NTM 2010) was held for the first time in the Netherlands. Host unit was the KLu's 313 sq which despite having been a member for over 20 years had never organised the meet before.  Notwithstanding 313 sq's very intermittent participation in Tiger Meets during the first decade of the 21st century, the unit hosted what must be termed a most interesting collection of aircraft. Of course, Tiger Meets are already half a century renowned for the habit of applying tiger markings to participating aircraft. Over the years, the art evolved from simple yellow and black stripes to elaborate airbrush paintings. The collection below lists some styles. Of special note are the Czech SAAB Gripen with its skeleton of a sabre toothed tiger and the German Tornado with its "digital" scheme. The Belgian and Norwegian F-16's had already been seen during various meets, the Norwegian F-16B's scheme dating back to 2007's Tiger Meet at Orland. 

Between 5 and 14 October 2010, various mission profiles were exercised. These included Air Interdiction assisted by Special Forces on the ground, CSAR (Combat Search and Rescue), CASEVAC (casualty evacuation), Quick Reaction Force and Reconnaisance and attack on High Value Targets. A wide variety of missions befitting the wide variety of aircraft types. Especially CASEVAC and CSAR was the domain of the Italian AB.212AM escorted by the Czech Mi.35. These two helicopters would have been direct opponents a mere 25 years previously, a sign of the times that have drastically changed. Half a century ago, Tiger Meets would have been supported by at least two USAF units and a Canadian one. Since some years, it is purely a European affair as can be seen below. A welcome newcomer were the Austrians, who only flew during the mornings each day. 


F-16AM J-055 KLu 313 sq F-16AM FA-87 Belgian Air Component 31 Smaldeel JAS-39C Gripen 9245 Czech Air Force

F-16AM 671 Royal Norwegian Air Force Skv 338 F-16BM 692 Royal Norwegian Air Force Skv 338 SAAB 105Oe RF-26 Austrian Air Force Düsentrainerstaffel

Tornado ECR 46+29 Luftwaffe JBG 32  F-16C 93-06982 Turkish Air Force 192nci Filo  F-16D 93-0696 Turkish Air Force 192nci Filo

Mirage 2000RDI 85/103-LI French Air Force EC 1/12

Mirage 2000D 668/118-IG French Air Force EC 5/330

AB.212AM MM81148 Italian Air Force 21° Gruppo

 Mi.35 3371 Czech Air Force 221.vrtl

Tornado 45+64 Luftwaffe AG 51 JAS-39C 39307/36 Hungarian Air Force MH 59 Sz.D.REB/1. Vadászrepülö Század

In 2011, NTM will return to the base of one of the meet's founding members, Cambrai in France. Sadly, this base and its Tiger unit EC 1/12 will close soon after. Hopefully the French will transfer the traditions of EC 1/12 to another squadron so that the spirit of this Tiger may live on. Time will tell.

All pictures (c) Hans Rolink