UK sends Typhoon aircraft to support Icelandic Air Policing Mission

15 November 2019 (Last Updated November 15th, 2019 11:01)

The UK Government has deployed Typhoon aircraft to Iceland to support Nato’s Icelandic Air Policing Mission.

UK sends Typhoon aircraft to support Icelandic Air Policing Mission
The RAF Typhoon jets will perform air patrols over Iceland until mid-December before returning home. Credit: Royal Air Force, UK Crown Copyright.

The UK Government has deployed Typhoon aircraft to Iceland to support Nato’s Icelandic Air Policing Mission.

Typhoon fighter jets from the British Royal Air Force’s (RAF) 1 (Fighter) Squadron arrived in the Nordic nation to protect its airspace.

The aircraft will continue mission support until the middle of next month and will operate from Keflavik Air Base.

Once the deployment is completed, the Typhoons will return to their home base of RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland.

The RAF has sent aircraft to Iceland for the first time in more than ten years. The deployment is also the airforce’s first contribution to the Icelandic Air Policing Mission.

The air policing mission has been protecting the country’s airspace since 2008.

It includes an average of three deployments per year to provide protection to Iceland’s airspace as the country does not have an airforce. Nato allies conduct the mission on a rotation basis.

Wing Commander Mark Baker said: “We are very excited to be here and are looking forward to starting flying operations. We have come here at the request of the Icelandic Government to provide a capable force designed to offer reassurance and police the country’s airspace.”

The RAF Typhoon jets conducted Nato Baltic Air Policing in Estonia earlier this year.

Air Officer Commanding RAF No 1 Group Air Vice Marshal Harvey Smyth said: “I am proud to see RAF Typhoon Fighters deploying once more to support and defend one of our allies as part of our ongoing commitment to Nato.

“This deployment is primarily designed to offer reassurance to our friends. Nevertheless, I am confident the Typhoons will secure the Icelandic skies in the same way as we do 24/7 365 at home.

“Their presence makes clear to allies that we stand by our Nato commitments, of which this is just one of many we offer to the alliance in order to help preserve Euro-Atlantic security.”

In September, four Italian Air Force Eurofighter Typhoons conducted Nato air patrols to protect Iceland’s airspace.