Four Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4s from the Royal Air Force’s 3 Squadron touched down at Siauliai air base in Lithuania on 28 April, to support Poland’s provision of quick reaction alert cover for the Baltic states from May 1.
The deployment, from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire, marks the first time the UK has committed Typhoons to the NATO Baltic air policing mission. This has protected the airspace of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania since the trio joined NATO in 2004. The Alliance recently bolstered its commitment of air-defense aircraft to the Baltic region, as unease increased following Russia’s annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine.
“It is right that NATO takes steps to reaffirm very publicly its commitment to the collective security of its members,” says UK defence secretary Philip Hammond. The RAF’s landmark Typhoon detachment “will provide reassurance to our NATO allies in eastern Europe and the Baltic states,” he adds.
For the complete story by Craig Hoyle of Flightglobal, click here.
Photo by the UK Ministry of Defense