Four Spanish Eurofighter Typhoons landed at Ämari, Estonia, and joined the German Eurofighter Typhoons currently supporting NATO’s enhanced Air Policing mission in the Baltics. The Spanish jets support the close cooperation concept called Plug-and-Fight the German Air Force has initiated with other Eurofighter users like the Royal Air Force and the Italian Air Force. The Spanish jets will be integrated into the operations of the German detachment that arrived in Estonia in August.
“The Spanish Air Force participates with personnel assigned to the 14th Wing mainly, with high level of preparation, professionalism, and responsibility, sharing maintenance techniques and materials, promoting the interoperability of this advanced weapons system used in Allied countries,” said Major Miguel Ángel López García.
“After several months of preparation efforts within both Air Forces, the Luftwaffe is happy to welcome the jets and pilots from Spain in Ämari. The combined work efforts in Spain and Germany have been very productive so far, and are being continued together here at Ämari in order to ensure the successful conduct of this iteration of Eurofighter plug-and-fight operations,” said Lieutenant Colonel Georg Hummel, Commander of the German Eurofighter detachment.
Training sorties of German and Spanish Eurofighter Typhoons will prepare both teams to conduct combined quick reaction alert operations by the beginning of September. Combining fighter assets to conduct a multinational Air Policing mission is another step in further improving Alliance cohesion and interoperability. It increases the flexibility of national air forces and NATO’s Combined Air Operations Centres to safeguard the NATO skies 24/7/365.
The Eurofighter Typhoon is a European multinational twin-engine, canard delta wing, multirole fighter. The Typhoon was designed originally as an air superiority fighter and is manufactured by a consortium of Airbus, BAE Systems and Leonardo that conducts the majority of the project through a joint holding company, Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH. The NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency, representing the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain, manages the project and is the prime customer.
The sudden end of the Cold War reduced European demand for fighter aircraft and led to debate over the aircraft’s cost and work share and protracted the Typhoon’s development: the Typhoon entered operational service in 2003 and is now in service with the air forces of Austria, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, Saudi Arabia and Oman. Kuwait and Qatar have also ordered the aircraft, bringing the procurement total to 623 aircraft as of 2019.