Nato allied and partner forces’ fighter jets have carried out a combined exercise to test French Air Force’s MAMBA surface-based air and missile defence system.

Conducted on 23 November, the exercise was held as part of routine trials of the missile defence system, which has been deployed in Romania since May this year.

The defence system has been deployed to augment Nato’s Integrated Air and Missile Defence (IAMD) system. It functions to protect allied airspace.

Deployed fighter aircraft included Spanish Eurofighter jets and Turkey’s F-16 aircraft, which are currently serving a Nato mission in Bulgaria.

Apart from this, the US Navy’s EA-18G Growler aircraft and the French Navy’s Rafale fighter jets aboard the aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle also took part in the recent activity.

During the training activity, the MAMBA system successfully repelled a simulated air attack performed by the allied fighter jets.

Nato spokesperson Oana Lungescu said: “In response to Russia’s war against Ukraine, we continue to strengthen our deterrence and defences in the eastern part of the alliance.

“This includes significantly increasing our air defences with more fighter jets and surveillance aircraft on patrol, more ground-based air defences and air-defence-capable ships at sea.”

France’s MAMBA, also called surface-to-air missile platform/terrain (SAMP/T), is an anti-missile system.

It has been designed to safeguard sensitive sites and other battlefields, including seaports and airports, against several airborne threats such as tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and crewed and uncrewed aircraft.

Allied Air Command Operations deputy chief of staff brigadier general Christoph Pliet said: “Constant drills and training like this ensure crews are ready to detect and if required respond to air and missile tracks that may threaten their defensive area of operations.”