Portugal to lead Baltic air policing

23 April 2018 (Last Updated April 23rd, 2018 11:45)

Portugal is set to lead the 47th rotation of Nato fighter jets from May in order to enhance air policing to safeguard the Baltic airspace.

Portugal to lead Baltic air policing
Portuguese F-16 (bottom), French Mirage 2000-5 (left) and Spanish Eurofighter (right) jets will start executing the 47th rotation of Nato’s Baltic air policing in May. Credit: Archive photo courtesy Portuguese, French and Spanish Air Forces.

Portugal is set to lead the 47th rotation of Nato fighter jets from May in order to enhance air policing to safeguard the Baltic airspace.

On 2 May, a 90-member detachment of pilots, ground crews and support personnel will take over the lead of Nato Allied Air Command’s air policing mission from Denmark.

The Royal Danish Air Force F-16 detachment took over the lead in Nato’s Baltic Air Policing from the US Air Force in January.

Four F-16M fighter aircraft will be deployed by the Portuguese Air Force from Air Base No 5 Monte Real to Šiauliai, Lithuania.

“The F-16M fleet will provide air policing capabilities to protect the airspace over Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.”

The F-16M fleet will provide air policing capabilities to protect the airspace over Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

The French Air Force’s fleet of four Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets, in addition to the Eurofighter aircraft from Spain, will also help increase the peacetime air policing mission in the Baltics.

Comprising 100 personnel from their home base at Luxeuil in the east of France, the French detachment will be based at Ämari Air Base in Estonia.

The Spanish Eurofighter detachment, involving six jets and nearly 130 personnel from 11th Wing at Morón Air Base, will be deployed at Šiauliai, Lithuania.

Other Nato allies have also made additional aircraft offers to provide opportunities for enhanced flexibility in employing assets to safeguard and protect the Nato airspace in the Baltic region, as well as improved training.