Together with counterparts from Spain, German pilots plan to monitor the skies above NATO members Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, which border on Russia.
The Luftwaffe will deploy two Eurofighters to the three Baltic states, it announced on Friday. NATO has been securing Baltic airspace since 2004 because Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania do not have their own fighter jets.
Three Eurofighters are also to be stationed in Romania at the end of November, as part of NATO’s “Enhanced Air Policing South” mission.
In parallel, the air force will continue to help protect Slovakia’s airspace against the backdrop of Russia’s war against Ukraine, the statement said. The German armed forces took over this task in September.
Next year, the air force will return to the Baltic states from March to November, it said.
Due to the renovation of the Ämari military airbase in Estonia, NATO’s Baltic Air Policing is then expected to be conducted from Latvia for the first time. The first forces are to be deployed to the Latvian base Lielvārde as early as mid-January in preparation for the mission.
In addition, the Luftwaffe says a radar facility will be stationed at the Ämari base from March to July 2024, and training personnel will be seconded to the air surveillance centre in Karmėlava in Lithuania.