Spanish fighter aircraft replaced in NATO Baltic air policing switch

Image - Baltic Air: Michele Ursi/shutterstock

Germany, Hungary and Italy have been given control over the air patrols in the Baltic region as the newest change in NATO’s air policing mission. This new responsibility for the three nations will begin on Monday 1st August 2022. 

Over the months to come, 80 personnel and 4 Hungarian JAS-39 fighter aircrafts will spearhead the mission out of Siauliai air base, Lithuania. At the same time, 4 German Eurofighter aircraft will leave Amari air base, Estonia. 4 Italian Eurofighters will also fly out of Malbork air base, Poland. 

Ona Lungescu, official spokesperson for NATO and Ex BBC Europe correspondent tweeted about the change that “Jets from #Germany, #Hungary, #Itay join those from #Czechia in #NATO Baltic air policing from August 1″ At a time when European security has been fundamentally altered by #Russia’s war in #Ukraine, we remain vigilant”. 

According to Lungescu, the NATO fighter jets will “remain ready around the clock to protect Allied airspace”. 

Before Germany, Hungary and Italy took over the responsibility, the Baltic airspace was surveyed by Belgian, French and Spanish units. These nations had been patrolling the region since April 2022. Of these nations, Czech Air Force jets are the only ones whose deployment in Lithuania will continue throughout the summer.

This rotary system of Air Force Allies has been employed to protect Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania since 2004, as these nations do not have their own fighter aircraft. 

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Annie Dabb

From Newcastle originally, Annie is based in Manchester and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features. Got a story you want to share? Then get in touch at