Four Typhoon fighter aircraft from the British Royal Air Force arrived in Romania this week as part of NATO’s enhanced Air Policing mission, the Alliance announced.
According to NATO, the air patrols will form an important part of the Alliance’s role to maintain security in the Black Sea region and demonstrate NATO’s unity and resolve in response to a more challenging security environment.
The Typhoon multi-role fighters from Royal Air Force 3 Fighter Squadron will be based at the Mihail Kogalniceanu Airbase in southeast Romania for four months.
They’ll be working alongside the Romanian Air Force to conduct the NATO mission, similar to NATO’s Air Policing role in the Baltics.
“This is an important mission which will help keep the skies over Romania safe. It’s just one of many measures NATO has taken to enhance our collective defence across the eastern part of the Alliance. From the Black Sea to the Baltics, Allies are standing together. NATO is determined to defend any Ally against any threat,” NATO Spokesperson Oana Lungescu said.
Even as NATO is preparing for massive summer manoeuvres in eastern Europe and the Black Sea, Estonia’s defence minister warned that Russia in its turn may use large-scale military exercises to move thousands of troops permanently into Belarus later this year in a warning to NATO.
Russia and Belarus intend to hold joint military exercises in September which some NATO members believe could number more than 100,000 troops and involve nuclear weapons training. It would be the most extensive such exercise since 2013.