UK Royal Air Force Set to Guard Baltic Airspace
British crews substituted their Spanish counterparts and are also expected to take part in ongoing military drills in Estonia.
UK Royal Air Force pilots and four Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft took over the NATO Baltic Air Policing mission from their Spanish colleagues at an airbase near Tallinn on Tuesday, the Estonian Defense Forces reported.
Their Spanish partners had been patrolling the skies there since January 2.
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania do not possess planes fit for air policing, which is why other NATO countries have been protecting their airspace since April 2004, when the three Baltic states joined the alliance. The patrolling planes are based in Lithuania and Estonia.
It is expected that the British fighters will also participate in the large-scale Siil-2015 international drills ('Hedgehog 2015') that kicked off in Estonia on Monday.
More than 13,000 people including regular Estonian troops, paramilitary unit Estonian Defense League and NATO servicemen will participate in the drills that end on May 15.
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