Typhoon jets based at RAF Coningsby have departed to begin a NATO Baltic Air Policing mission based in Estonia.
The four aircraft from the Lincolnshire air station flew to Amari Air Base in Estonia to conduct the next round of the NATO Baltic Air Policing mission and take over from German Airforce Typhoons.
In Estonia the RAF aircraft will be at readiness to intercept aircraft entering the eastern flank of the NATO alliance airspace and will work in coordination with other NATO allies based in Latvia.
RAF Coningsby Station Commander, Group Captain Mark Flewin, said:
“Our aircraft have deployed to Estonia today as part of our on-going commitment to support NATO. We are there primarily to re-assure our allies but to also be prepared to secure the airspace of our NATO partners, in the same way as we guard our airspace at home.”
This is the third time that RAF Typhoons have deployed to Estonia, the last occasion was in 2016. The Baltic Air Policing operations were enhanced in 2014 after the Russian annexation of Crimea and was part of the Assurance Measures agreed by the NATO Allies at the Warsaw summit of that year.
The RAF mission in Estonia is part of NATO’s Assurance Measures introduced in 2014.
At the time, the Alliance started implementing these Assurance Measures with the goal to demonstrate the collective resolve of Allies, demonstrate the defensive nature of NATO and deter the threat of Russian aggression against NATO Allies.