Typhoon jets on NATO Quick Reaction Alert based in Romania have been launched in response to Russian aircraft flying in international airspace close to Romanian airspace.

The aircraft are part of Operation BILOXI, the UK contribution to the NATO enhanced Air Policing mission in the region, which in turn is part of the NATO Assurance Measures first authorised in 2014 following the NATO Summit of that year.

Describing the effort, the RAF say:

“With this enhanced capability, NATO has demonstrated its collective resolve of deterrence and defence, specifically for the NATO Allies on the eastern flank of the Alliance.”

According to a Royal Air Force news release, operating from the Romanian Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base near Constanta on the Black Sea coast, Typhoons on the NATO Enhanced Air Policing mission scrambled on 5th August as NATO radars detected Russian aircraft in international airspace over the southern Black Sea.

The aircraft were heading towards Romanian airspace.

Flight Lieutenant Charlie, IX (Bomber) Squadron Pilot, 121 Expeditionary Air Wing, was quoted as saying:

“When the Russian aircraft entered the Romanian Flight Information Region, we were scrambled to conduct a Combat Air Patrol in the area.  As the suspect aircraft turned into Romanian airspace we were then instructed to visually identify the track.  As we approached our Combat Air Patrol area, the Russian aircraft turned, headed away from us and left the FIR, at which point we resumed our air patrolling mission and practiced some air combat manoeuvres before returning to base.”

Wing Commander Lamping, Commanding Officer 121 Expeditionary Air Wing, was also quoted:

“This is our eighth scramble since assuming our NATO enhanced Air Policing mission at the start of May.  Every time the call to scramble has been given personnel across the Wing have responded with the utmost professionalism to help secure NATO airspace in the Black Sea region.”

You can read more from the source here.

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ChariotRider
ChariotRider
2 months ago

I think the NATO enhanced Air Policing initiative is one of the most effective ways that NATO has of demonstrating its resolve and collective defence stance.

It must be quite sobering for the Russian’s to encounter RAF Typhoon’s reacting to defend Romanian airspace or to encounter Norweign F35’s deployed to Iceland as was the case a few months ago – if I remember rightly.

Cheers CR

Ron Stateside
Ron Stateside
2 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

I agree these are good points. But wouldn’t it also be nice to see more cooperation in procurement with these smaller NATO countries? Hypothetically something like the gifting of Challenger II to an Eastern European country after the UK fielded a replacement. If there are weak links in NATO’s chain of course those are going to be areas that will be tested so it makes sense to also help these countries with procurement. There is a lot of help that goes around between the UK foreign aid budget and US foreign military help/sales. It pains me to juxtapose all these… Read more »

Ron Stateside
Ron Stateside
2 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

I should acknowledge the recent gifting of minehunters is a step in this direction.

Heidfirst
Heidfirst
2 months ago
Reply to  Ron Stateside

were they truly gifted? https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-signs-agreement-to-support-enhancement-of-ukrainian-naval-capabilities says the purchase of … At any rate they are tied into a deal that benefits UK suppliers.

Gareth
Gareth
2 months ago

Would you really do any ‘practice air combat manouvres’ on a flight responding to Russian provocation? I would think they were watching and I wouldn’t do anything truly representative on such a flight.
Or maybe do some gash ‘manoeuvres’ and claim they were practice in the press release….

Fernando
Fernando
2 months ago

Such a weeck for the Typhoons…..