Swedish fighter jets, for the first time, have participated in a Nato Baltic Air exercise involving Nato members Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Estonian military spokeswoman Lieutenant Commander Ingrid Muehling said the Swedish JAS-39 Gripen fighters trained together with Nato aircraft, enhancing the safety of the Baltic airspace.

Nato’s Ramstein Air Base deputy commander Lieutenant General Friedrich Ploeger said the exercise was to expand cooperation between Nato air forces in the Baltics and Sweden.

“It showed our capacity to defend the Baltic airspace, and stressed our commitment to joint security,” he added.

Larger Nato members take turns to patrol the three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania due to a lack of sufficient aircraft within them, according to Agence France Presse.

The Swedish aircraft practiced alongside German fliers, which are currently responsible for the patrols in the Baltic states.