Text: Serge Van Heertum - Pictures: SBAP Team (see mention) - Translation: Marc Arys  ©sbap 2020
 
The SNAP exercice (Significance of National Air Power) is a Luftwaffe exercise designed to maintain and perfect methods of evacuating German citizens in conflict situations, people under protection or soldiers in war zones. It involves combined air operations using fighter or bombing squadrons in combination with either wide-body or rotary wing transport.
The types of scenarios are many and varied and include low and medium altitude interception phases, airfield attacks, evacuations under air and ground protection or rescue service interventions for aircraft in difficulty.
For the "SNAP 2020" edition, the Nörvenich base in the Nordrhein-Westfalen region was the prime contractor for the organization of the exercise, and this shortly after the arrival of the Israeli contingent for the Blue Wings and Magdays 2020 exercises.
The exercise itself is spread over two days, with the first serving as a general rehearsal and the second being the actual exercise in presence of the authorities and experts, there to analyse the various scenarios and to improve existing procedures or implement new ones depending on developments in the field. To make the effects even more realistic, pyrotechnic effects are used on the second day.
The actual exercise takes place in the morning and lasts between 45 minutes and one hour.
September 8th was therefore the day of the rehearsal and September 9th the day of the actual exercise.
The "SNAP 2020" edition began with the take-off of a pair of Eurofighters from the Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) following a report of a transport aircraft not following its flight plan and not responding to the radio. The two alert aircraft brought the aircraft in difficulty, an A310, back to base and after it landed, the two fighters also landed at their home base.
Following up, the launch and take-off of six Eurofighters and an A400M, from Wunsdorf, which was to serve as an unidentified aircraft. It was once again a scramble by a duo of EF2000's that set out to intercept an unidentified aircraft that had crossed the borders of the Bundesrepublik. Very quickly, and with incredible power and maneuverability, the first fighter reached the unidentified spot, while the second one moved into a distance behind the A400M ready to take down the plane if necessary.
A few waggle wings of the fighter commanded the unidentified aircraft to follow him, and the aircraft responded by waggling its wings indicating acceptance of the order. Then the A400M landed on the base (making a go- around as it was still needed for the rest of the exercise)...
Next was an interception of two enemy planes at medium altitude, the Douglas A4 Skyhawk having been taken on by the Luftwaffe's EF2000, quickly left the area, leaving the spot for two Tornado IDS's whose mission was to destroy installations on the base. High speed pass, pyrotechnic effects and Eurofighter to chase away the intruders... In short, an explosive cocktail.
After securing the recovery area, it was the turn of a Transall of the LTG63 to make an assault landing and then hold on runway with the opened tailgate, in order to recover German nationals in difficulty in an unstable zone, all under the protection of ground troops and a pair of H145M and CH-53GS. The two helicopters provided protection until the Transall took off. Unfortunately, a small (simulated) technical problem forced the crew of the H145M to make an emergency landing with a fire on board. No casualties and the firemen had to intervene to bring the situation under control.
This was the conclusion of the exercise, but before landing, the Eurofighters and the giant Atlas offered a superb formation pass.
Back to base for all the participants, and normal operations at the Nörvenich base resumed. In the afternoon, however, the guests were treated with a solo Eurofighter display. Surprisingly, since the disaster in Ramstein, there hasn't been a Luftwaffe demonstration in the airshow circuit since then.
This display, masterfully handled by Hptm Dominik H. "Miller", was meant for a presentation at the ILA in Berlin, this, of course, without counting on our surprise guest Covid-19.
In conclusion, it is certain that the Luftwaffe is training hard, as further exercises are still planned between now and the end of 2020.
After witnessing the operations with his Israeli colleagues with delight and astonishment, it was a renewed pleasure to see the capabilities of the modern Luftwaffe in full action and to be able to immortalize machines whose replacement is on study, like the Tornado or CH-53, but also the ageing Transall, bound to disappear sooner or later from our German neighbour's arsenal.
 
 Nörvenich Airbase wakes up...
 
The end of the night is coming
(Serge Van Heertum©)
The sun rises on Nordrhein-Westfalen state
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Morning rays are reflected in the markup
(Serge Van Heertum©)
The firemen get to work
(Serge Van Heertum©)
First task, the runway inspection
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Morning walk for a fuel tank
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Equipement move
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Sky is theirs ... not for long
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Bundeswehr... Wir. Dienen. Deutchland.
 (Serge Van Heertum©)
Krauss-Maffei Wegmann GmbH - KMW Dingo 2 GE A2 PatSi
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Krauss-Maffei Wegmann GmbH - KMW Dingo 2 GE A2 PatSi
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Mowag Eagle IV
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Christmas landing lights...
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Typhoon breakfast
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Vitamin supplement before going to work
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Ready for action!
(Serge Van Heertum©)
   
Significance of National Air Power 2020
  
Participating Aircraft
 
Eurofighter EF2000 (TLG31) Nörvenich Fliegerhorst:
30+11
30+29
30+52
30+96 ("Winged Sword" Special paint)
30+97
31+16 (QRA)
31+32
31+33
31+34
31+41 (QRA)
31+42 (Display)
31+43 (QRA)
31+47

Panavia Tornado IDS (TLG33) Büchel Fliegerhorst:
46+02
46+10
46+15
Airbus A310-304 (FBS BMVg) Köiln Fliegerhorst:
10+23

Airbus Military A400M (LTG62) Wunsdorf Fliegerhorst:
54+29
54+33

C-160D Transall (LTG63) Hohn Fliegerhorst:
50+40

Sikorsky CH-53GS (HSG64) Laupheim Fliegerhorst:
84+42

Eurocopter H145M (HSG64) Laupheim Fliegerhorst:
76+15

Bell UH-D Iroquois (TRH30) Niederstetten Fliegerhorst:
71+40

  
Airbus A310-304 10+23 (c/n 503) FBS BMVg (Flugbereitschaft des Bundesministeriums der Verteidigung) Köln Airbase
Early the morning
(Serge Van Heertum©)
First mission the 31+41 from the QRA (Quick Reaction Alert)
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Eurofighter and clouds
(Serge Van Heertum©)
A little bit rubber on the runway
(Serge Van Heertum©)
A great Germanic fighter look 
(Serge Van Heertum©)
The 31+47 (c/n GS0107) departing for his mission of the day
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Holding point for the 31+29 (c/n GS0089)
(Serge Van Heertum©)
It's rush hour!
(Serge Van Heertum©)
EF2000 driver salute, nice flight to you!
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Airbus Military big multi-fan
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Airbus A310 in neutral grey uniform
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Guess what is my unit
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Face to face with the warrior
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Full power take off to intercept an unidentified aircraft in the German airspace
(Serge Van Heertum©)

The two Luftwaffe 2020 war machines
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Vertical climb for the 31+34 (c/n GS0094)
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Taktisches Luftwaffengeschwader 33 in action
(Serge Van Heertum©)
The Tornado power
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Maximum swept wings
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Eye to eye with the Transall crew
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Tight turn for the CH-53GS
(Serge Van Heertum©)
The rotary wing combination from Laupheim Fliegerhorst
(Serge Van Heertum©)
German citizens rescued with the Transall and still under protection
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Eurocopter H145M 76+15 (c/n 20139) from HSG64 Laupheim Airbase
(Serge Van Heertum©)
The CH-53GS is clearly a big rotary wing machine
(Serge Van Heertum©)
VFW-Sikorsky CH-53GS 84+42 (c/n V65-040) from HSG64 Laupheim Airbase
(Serge Van Heertum©)
A large escort for the A400M
(Serge Van Heertum©)
31+41 (c/n GS0101) back to base
(Serge Van Heertum©)
The 30+96 showing the rightside of the special paint
(Serge Van Heertum©)
The 30+97 (c/n GS075) at landing
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Back to parking for the C-160D
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Face to face with a giant
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Mission accomplished for the 31+32 (c/n GS0092)
(Serge Van Heertum©)
The complicity between the pilot and the crew chief to enter the cradle
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Big transport machines: 
C-160D Transall 50+40 (c/n D62) from LTG63 Hohn airbase & Airbus military A400M 54+33 (c/n 100) from LTG62 Wunsdorf airbase
(Serge Van Heertum©)

The undeside of the Eurofighter
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Another A400M, the 54+29 (c/n 090)
Preparing to go back at home after the exercice
(Serge Van Heertum©)
 
 
The first production airframes were delivered to France and Germany as from 1967
Early the morning with some morning dew
(Philippe Vercauteren©)
Wake up Atlas!
(Philippe Vercauteren©)
Early bird, the A400M Atlas at take off
(Philippe Vercauteren©)
The 30+11 (c/n 052/GS005) taxiing
(Philippe Vercauteren©)
Holding point for the 31+47 (c/n GS0107)
(Philippe Vercauteren©)
Full power afterburner take off for the 30+52 (c/n GS037)
(Philippe Vercauteren©)
Friend or foe?
(Philippe Vercauteren©)
No risk, aircraft is intercepted
(Philippe Vercauteren©)
The second Eurofighter is ready to shoot in case of
(Philippe Vercauteren©)
The non-identified aicraft is forced to land
(Philippe Vercauteren©)
Other threats are spotted...
(Philippe Vercauteren©)
...and intercepted (Douglas A-4N Skyhawk (Top Aces) Wittmund Airbase
(Philippe Vercauteren©)
The green giant rotates above the base to protect the ground troops
(Philippe Vercauteren©)
The modern day Luftwaffe
(Philippe Vercauteren©)
Original view of the EC145M
(Philippe Vercauteren©)
Twenty original CH-53G were modified into CH-53GS
(Philippe Vercauteren©)
The fighters are back home
(Philippe Vercauteren©)
Short final for the 31+34 (c/n GS0094)
(Philippe Vercauteren©)
The 30+97 (c/n GS075) few seconds before the touch
(Philippe Vercauteren©)
Le 31+47 (c/n GS0107) really low
(Philippe Vercauteren©)
The 31+41 (c/n GS0101) from the QRA, note the AIM-2000 IRIS-T missile
(Philippe Vercauteren©)
Big transport aircraft are also back
(Philippe Vercauteren©)
Break!
(Philippe Vercauteren©)
Serious weathering for model enthusiasts, note the chaff dispener
(Philippe Vercauteren©)
Detail of the Modular Countermeasures Pod MCP-10
(Philippe Vercauteren©)
Nose close up of the A400M
(Philippe Vercauteren©)
UH-1D 71+40 (c/n 8200) detached from THR30 Niederstetten airbase
(Philippe Vercauteren©)
  
  
The Euofighter has become over time a very racy multirole machine
Preparing the fast jet
(Jacques Vincent©)
High level technician assistance
(Jacques Vincent©)
Atlas take off
(Jacques Vincent©)
In the heat of the summer...heu no...exhaust!
(Jacques Vincent©)
53 years of service into German Air Force
(Jacques Vincent©)
Clearance received from the control tower
(Jacques Vincent©)
A picture just for Greta!
(Jacques Vincent©)
Follow the lights
(Jacques Vincent©)
The fighters are awake
(Jacques Vincent©)
Büchel Tornado TLG33 attack (46+10 - c/n GS243)
(Jacques Vincent©)
Still a powerful machine
(Jacques Vincent©)
Simply a nice formation
(Jacques Vincent©)
Under high protection
(Jacques Vincent©)
The A400M is a real big one!
(Jacques Vincent©)
Nose view of the CH-53GS with the FN® M3M heavy machine gun
(Jacques Vincent©)
The ramp equipped also with FN® M3M (GAU-21) .50 caliber (12.7x99mm)
(Jacques Vincent©)
Eurocopter EC145M back to base
(Jacques Vincent©)
The Eurofighter 31+34 (c/n GS0094) at landing
(Jacques Vincent©)
The 30+52 (c/n GS037) aligned on the RWY 25
(Jacques Vincent©)
Short final for the 31+32 (c/n GS0092)
(Jacques Vincent©)
The 30+97 (c/n GS075) now
(Jacques Vincent©)
Pilot on board the 30+29 (c/n GS018) seems relax!
(Jacques Vincent©)
This is not usual that the pilot name is indcated under the conopy...
(Jacques Vincent©)
Double short final to conclude
(Jacques Vincent©)
Splendid view of the 31+47 (c/n GS0107) at landing
(Jacques Vincent©)
Old Transall...
(Jacques Vincent©)
...and new Atlas
(Jacques Vincent©)
QRA back to home base, the 31+16 (c/n 176/AS009)
(Jacques Vincent©)
The 31+41 (c/n GS0101) with an impressive mission board under the canopy
(Jacques Vincent©)
  
  
CH-53GS is the "geschützte" (protected) helicopter, with the modernized IFR equipment, additional exterior tanks, low-flight night vision cockpit and NVG, partial ballistic protection, engine dust collectors, missile counter measure and self-defence armament. The original engines were replaced by the T64-100 type
En route for action
(Pierre Taquet©)
The unidentified spot is intercepted
(Pierre Taquet©)
Clearly powerful and agile
(Pierre Taquet©)
Hello guy's
(Pierre Taquet©)
Simply a nice picture
(Pierre Taquet©)
The CH-53GS protecting the ground operations
(Pierre Taquet©)
Follow the dove to get back home
(Pierre Taquet©)
A310 and QRA interception
(Pierre Taquet©)
One of the Luftwaffe passenger transport aircraft type, the Airbus A310
(Pierre Taquet©)
Mission accomplished for the QRA
(Pierre Taquet©)
The left side of the 30+96 showing the the winged sword of TLG31 "Boelke"
(Pierre Taquet©)
Back track for the A310 10+23
(Pierre Taquet©)
Airbus Military A400M Atlas in final
(Pierre Taquet©)
The enemy is around
(Pierre Taquet©)
Tornado attack!
(Pierre Taquet©)
Büchel TLG33 using IDS (Interdictor/Strike) models
(Pierre Taquet©)
Full speed pass for the 46+02 (c/n GS242)
(Pierre Taquet©)
Typical German Luftwaffe two tone green camouflage 
(Pierre Taquet©)
Transport and fighters
(Pierre Taquet©)
Elephant walk @ Nörvenich
(Pierre Taquet©)
Taxi to the shelters
(Pierre Taquet©)
He has a mouthful as they say
(Pierre Taquet©)
Some more run for the CH-53GS
(Pierre Taquet©)
QRA configuration at landing
(Pierre Taquet©)
A Eurofighter display was given in the afternoon...Powerful without any contest
(Pierre Taquet©)
Sun effect on the display aircraft 31+42
(Pierre Taquet©)
Landing after display... This was really good and not usual to see a Luftwaffe aircraft in demo!
(Pierre Taquet©)
A second Atlas (54+29) at landing
(Pierre Taquet©)
Throttles in the dashboard and back to home base
(Pierre Taquet©)
  
  
A400M Atlas, a real big flying machine!
Morning take off
(Serge van Oosterzee©)
Missions of the day launched
(Serge van Oosterzee©)
Holding point for the 31+33 (c/n GS093)
(Serge van Oosterzee©)
The 31+34 (c/n GS0094) waiting the clearance
(Serge van Oosterzee©)
Full afterburner power!
(Serge van Oosterzee©)
The unidentified spot...
(Serge van Oosterzee©)
...is intercepted
(Serge van Oosterzee©)
The intruder hunt is open
(Serge van Oosterzee©)
Airbus A310 at landing
(Serge van Oosterzee©)
Flaps down
(Serge van Oosterzee©)
The 10+23 making a back track taxi
(Serge van Oosterzee©)
Face to face with Oswald
(Serge van Oosterzee©)
The TLG31 "Lightning" special paint
(Serge van Oosterzee©)
Tornado attack
(Serge van Oosterzee©)
The base is bombarded
(Serge van Oosterzee©)
Low level attack for the 46+15 (c/n GS248)
(Serge van Oosterzee©)
Luftwaffe 2020
(Serge van Oosterzee©)
Folded wings high speed pass for the 46+10 (c/n GS243)
(Serge van Oosterzee©)
The 30+29 is back to base
(Serge van Oosterzee©)
Air break salute
(Serge van Oosterzee©)
The "Winged Sword" at landing
(Serge van Oosterzee©)
Few seconds before the touch
(Serge van Oosterzee©)
The giant Atlas
(Serge van Oosterzee©)
Salute from the "Winged Sword" driver
(Serge van Oosterzee©)
Technical problems and emergency landing for the H145M
(Serge van Oosterzee©)
The market for the replacement of the CH-53 is open
(Serge van Oosterzee©)
Afternoon solo display
(Serge van Oosterzee©)
Powerfull demo of the German Eurofighter
(Serge van Oosterzee©)
The 54+29 in short final
(Serge van Oosterzee©)
Chinese shadow for German giant
(Serge van Oosterzee©)
 
  
SNAP 2020 is over, many thanks to the Luftwaffe for showing us their operational capabilities
(Serge Van Heertum©)
 
 

Reports Menu - Homepage