Four British Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets have been deployed to the Ämari Air Base in Estonia in support of the Baltic Air Policing Mission.
The Royal Air Force reported that the jets from No 6 Squadron arrived on 5 May directly from RAF Lossiemouth, Scotland, after a journey of a little over two hours. The four Typhoons will deploy until August and their detachment is augmented by four Norwegian aircraft in Lithuania.
Estonia’s foreign minister Keit Pentus-Rosimannus said the presence of allies in Estonia is a clear message of NATO’s unity and readiness. “The activity of Russia’s air force in our region is several times more intense than in 2013. Protecting the alliance’s airspace at Ämari reinforces both Estonian security, as well as NATO’s collective defence as a whole,” she said.
Chris Holtby, the British ambassador to Estonia, also delivered a speech to a multinational audience upon the arrival of UK Typhoons in Estonia.
The Baltic Air Policing mission was established in 2004 to assist Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania who have no airborne air defence capability of their own. The aim of the mission is to prevent unauthorised incursion into the airspace of the Baltic states and its most frequent duty is intercepting Russian aircraft and escorting them from the area. To the west of the Baltic states’ airspace is an air corridor often used by aircraft traveling to the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad from territorial Russia.
Pictures courtesy of British Embassy in Tallinn and Royal Air Force.