Royal Air Force F-35 Lightning II Jets Forward Deploy for NATO's Enhanced Air Policing Mission
Royal Air Force F-35 Lightning II Jets Forward Deploy for NATO's Enhanced Air Policing Mission

Royal Air Force F-35 Lightning II Jets Forward Deploy for NATO’s Enhanced Air Policing Mission

Royal Air Force F-35 Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II jets have landed at Ämari Air Base, Estonia to better support NATO’s enhanced Air Policing mission on the Alliances Eastern Flank. The F-35 Lightning from RAF Marham, UK joined other Allied 5th Generation fighters provided by the US Air Force and the Royal Netherlands Air Force who are taking part in air patrols over Eastern Europe. This activity provides air policing of NATO airspace ensuring a robust and integrated shield for Allied airspace and contributing to the security of Europe.

“The F-35 is an incredibly capable and versatile aircraft. Operating alongside the Typhoons they are maintaining the integrity of the European airspace and contributing to the NATO Mission. The 5th Generation Fighter is a world-leading aircraft which can simultaneously provide Electronic Warfare, Intelligence gathering, and unmatched sensor fusion to support a wide spectrum of combat capabilities,” said Group Captain Philip Marr, Station Commander, RAF Marham.

L-R Chief Petty Officer Neil Pinkerton, Squadron Leader Stew Campbell, Mr Ross Allen, Commander Robert Steadman. The British Ambassador to Estonia, Mr Ross Allen, visited Royal Air Force F-35B Lightning Aircraft of 617 Sqn RAF Marham shortly after they arrived at Ämari Air Base, Estonia.(Photo by Royal Air Force).

This new deployment will see the aircraft based alongside Belgian F-16s where they will be better postured to support the ongoing NATO mission. They will join other Allied 4th and 5th Generation fighters carrying out patrols over Polish and the Baltic States’ airspace. These 5th Generation stealth fighters can be armed with a variety of Air-to-Air and Air to Ground weapons and are capable of multiple simultaneous missions such as Air Policing whilst intelligence gathering.

F-35B Lightning aircraft from RAF Marham have arrived at Amari airbase in Estonia to carry out NATO enhanced Vigilance Activity. This activity provides air policing of NATO airspace, further contributing to the security of Europe. Previously the airbase has been regularly used by RAF Typhoons on Operation AZOTIZE to carry out the NATO Baltic Air Policing, safeguarding the integrity of NATO’ airspace. The RAF has also deployed additional Typhoons from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire to RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus.

Royal Air Force F-35s patrol the skies over Eastern Europe as part of the ongoing NATO mission. (Photo by Royal Air Force).