The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) is decided to deploy two additional Royal Air Force’s (RAF) Typhoon fighter jets for the Nato Air Policing mission in Romania.
The announcement was made by UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace during the Operation Biloxi ceremony hosted at the Mihail Kogalniceanu Airbase in Romania.
Also known as the Nato Air Policing mission, Operation Biloxi is a defensive operation that aims to protect the airspaces of Nato Alliance members. It is a permanent mission that started during the Cold War in 1961.
The event witnesses participation of jets in flypast and a scramble exercise to showcase Nato’s rapid response abilities towards the enemy’s invasion into the airspace of its allies.
During the ceremony, UK Defence Secretary and Romanian Defence Minister Vasile Dincu discussed regional security and defence relationship between the two nations.
The two also discussed about Ukraine crisis and need of strengthening the UK-Romania bilateral relationships.
Wallace said: “The UK and Romania are steadfast in the defence of our shared values and commitment to Nato’s collective security, in the air, at sea, and on land.
“Together we are supporting Ukraine in its defence against Putin’s illegal invasion, and I pay tribute to Romania’s generosity providing shelter for the tens of thousands of innocent civilians fleeing this horrific conflict.”
The UK has already deployed RAF personnel and Typhoon jets to Romania to participate in the Nato Air Policing operation in the Black Sea region.
According to the UK MoD, the two additional jets are anticipated to remain deployed in Romania until the end of July.
Apart from the two additional Typhoon jets, eight aircraft are already stationed in Cyprus.
Following the uplift, the total number of the RAF’s fighter aircraft stationed in South-Eastern Europe will be 14.
In May 2020, the RAF also participated in the Nato Air Policing mission at Šiauliai Air Force Base in Lithuania.