Voyager tankers are providing fuel to jets from the UK and other NATO members currently on patrol over Eastern Europe as part of Britain’s effort to help secure the ‘Eastern Flank’ of NATO.

Two Royal Air Force Voyagers are in the air in the region at the time of writing.

This has been ongoing for a number of weeks now but it’s important to highlight why.

Since the beginning of Russia’s attack on Ukraine NATO has taken measures to shield its member States along the eastern flank from potential aggression. In the air, NATO’s Allied Air Command commands and employs military aircraft from the nations and NATO to execute enhanced Vigilance Activities.

NATO has substantially increased the number of fighter jets on alert across Eastern Europe in response to Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine.

The RAF say that Voyagers have been flying over Poland and East Europe refuelling Typhoons out RAF Coningsby and Lossiemouth as the RAF, Ministry of Defence, NATO and NATO Air Com continue with their uplift of aircraft in the Baltic States.

“The uplift is a means to strengthen the Alliance’s borders as a direct result of the aggression exhibited by Russia as they invade Ukraine.”

Allied Air Command Chief of Staff, Major General Jörg Lebert, was earlier quoted as saying:

“NATO air forces have bolstered their presence in the eastern part of the Alliance helping to shield NATO against any aggression. Several dozen fighter jets are on alert at any time to respond to possible airspace violations and to deter aggression.

Allied Air Command integrates the Allied air forces’ fighters, air-to-air refuelling and transport aircraft as well as Allied and NATO airborne warning and control (AWACS) platforms into the standing arrangements to safeguard the skies above the Allies. These assets enable NATO to patrol the Allied airspace and have 24/7 situational awareness above NATO and adjacent territory.”

Here’s a map from NATO showing what’s going on where.

_nato4

Allied fighters take off from their home bases, forward deployment bases or carriers flying Air Patrol missions along the Alliance’s eastern flank, according to NATO.

George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. He also works for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Phylyp
Phylyp
2 months ago

I can’t wait for the light blue bits north of Estonia and Poland to be coloured a darker blue in that NATO map! C’mon Erdogan!

Steve
Steve
2 months ago

Off topic but I see the army has confirmed it is not buying the jltv, stating cost reasons. I also read the decision to delay the purchase of the new Chinooks was delayed to save money but has ended up closing several hundred million more. What’s the bets the same ‘cost saving’ will happen here.

JohninMK
JohninMK
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve

A big unknown is the £/$ exchange rate at the time of payment, which can turn into a big plus or minus on the announced contract price.

Steve
Steve
2 months ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Based on history of delaying contracts, they can’t really argue they didn’t know that delaying it would end up costing them more. Constant false ecomony when it comes to public sector purchases, plus let’s face it anyone with a vague understanding of economics would have predicted the UK economy would suffer for the next few years (longer term is anyones guess, but short term it was always going to be bad) thanks to brexit and lack of any new improved trade deals, meaning no chance it wasn’t going to cost more.

Jon
Jon
2 months ago

Last year the RAF Rapid Capabilities Office upgraded a Voyager with a satellite link and the Raven/Nexus intelligence coordination package, effectively turning the Voyager into a communications node and a command centre for the Typhoons and F-35s, which can work concurrently with refuelling. The capability was declared operational shortly afterward.

Do we know if all the Voyagers will be similarly equipped?

Last edited 2 months ago by Jon
johan
johan
2 months ago
Reply to  Jon

when Typhoon Radar upgrades are done and the F35s radar suit is so powerful it doesn’t need a AWACS type. you can get the same pod for the P8s but is seen as a stop gap in requirement, due to the land based radars now doing this work, and only in a war footing would you see there aircraft in use.

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
2 months ago
Steve M
Steve M
2 months ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

About right meaning the current fleet have to rack up more airframe hours thus the new one will end just replacing airframes that are at EOL so no new/increase capability 😡 sorry but rather than spend £13b refurbing Parliament just follow General Cheeseburger’s instruction/order

johan
johan
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve M

Issue being they have to refurb Parliament as its a historical building and the Govt can be fined if it doesn’t. its why the MOD sells of historical buildings for small amounts. Home office sold of 2 grade 1 listed estates for less than the tax payer was spending a year to maintain them.