12 Sep 2019

RAF Typhoons take part in air policing operation in Estonia

NATO held a four month air policing mission in Estonia as part of Operation Azotize, which featured RAF Typhoon aircraft.

The RAF Typhoons took part in the air policing deployment alongside NATO for Operation Azotize. In response to a request from the Estonian government, UK forces performed 21 interceptions in the airspace over the country.

The operation aimed to create a Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) force using armed forces from NATO partners drawn in turn. The Typhoon squadron was supported by 121 Expeditionary Air Wing (EAW) who are also based at RAF Coningsby and stayed for the length of the operation.

Ben Wallace, Defence Secretary, said: “Throughout their deployment in Estonia, the world-class pilots, engineers and support personnel of our RAF Typhoon detachment have ensured that the Baltic skies have been patrolled safely and skilfully. Our presence in the region has served to reinforce that the UK remains ready to support our allies wherever and whenever required.”

The EAW was tasked with keeping aircraft in operation for the duration of the exercise. The exercise represents the third time the UK has taken part in air policing over the Baltic for NATO.

The UK will also take part in a NATO mission in Icelandic airspace later this year on request by Iceland’s government. NATO leaders are due to visit the UK later this year as part of the UK’s commitment to NATO goals and RAF Typhoon jets are currently working in the Falklands for QRA missions as well as in Syria and Iraq for Operation Shader.

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