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July 2, 2020

RAF Typhoons launch for Nato Air Policing Mission

UK Royal Air Force (RAF) Lithuania-based Typhoon fighter aircraft have been launched for the fifth time to conduct a routine Nato Air Policing mission.

British Royal Air Force (RAF) Lithuania-based Typhoon fighter aircraft have been launched for the fifth time to conduct a routine Nato Air Policing mission.

During the mission, the Typhoons from RAF Lossiemouth based 6 Squadron RAF intercepted a Russian IL-78 MIDAS air-to-air refuelling aircraft off the Baltic coastline.

Currently, an RAF Squadron has been deployed at Siauliai Air Base in Lithuania to execute the Nato mission.

The RAF conducted the operation with a Spanish Air Force detachment at Siauliai Air Base and a French Air Force detachment at Amari Air Base in Estonia.

This allowed the three Nato Allies to respond to any violations on Nato airspace all around the clock.

By participating in these missions, the UK operates in support of Nato and its allies, maintaining regional stability.

As part of Nato’s enhanced Forward Presence mission, the UK leads the Nato Battlegroup deployed in Estonia and supplies troops to the US-led Battle Group based in Poland.

RAF 135 Expeditionary Air Wing commanding officer Wing Commander Stu Gwinnutt said: “Today’s interception, though routine, is a continuing sign of why it is necessary to deploy the Nato Air Policing Mission here, to ensure that all air users in this region can conduct their activities in a safe and professional manner.”

In May this year, the RAF Typhoons jets conducted training sorties with US B-1B Lancer bomber aircraft over the North Sea. A long-range training sortie was conducted by the USAF B-1B Lancer bombers from their home base at Ellsworth Air Force Base (AFB), South Dakota, US.

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