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German Eurofighters Patrol Baltic Skies From Latvia

German Eurofighters executed their first alert scramble out of Lielvārde Air Base on 1st March 2024 [© NATO Air Command: Arnaud Chamberlin]

German Eurofighters assigned to NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission have scrambled ten times to intercept Russian aircraft since deploying earlier this year.

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For the first time*, NATO Air Policing jets are flying out of Latvia. A detachment of German Air Force Eurofighter Typhoons are currently based at Lielvārde Air Base, where they’re tasked with ensuring the safety and security of the airspace over and around Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

German Eurofighters Patrol Baltic [© NATO Multimedia]

Since deploying earlier this year, the German fighters have intercepted Russian aircraft flying over the Baltic Sea ten times. NATO aircraft assigned to the Baltic Air Policing mission, regularly intercept Russian aircraft when they don’t use transponders to identify themselves or fail to respond to hails from air traffic controllers, meaning they appear on radar simply as an unidentified contact. NATO air commanders often order scrambles to identify the radar track, observe its behaviour and ensure that it does not pose a threat to NATO Allies.

The Baltic Air Policing mission is led from Šiauliai Air Base in Lithuania, where the Spanish and Portuguese Air Forces currently have fighters deployed. An additional nation usually covers the Baltic Sea from Ämari Air Base in Estonia, but fighters are temporarily stationed in Latvia while the Estonian Air Force improves the runway.

This NATO Multimedia B-roll footage, filmed Wednesday (17th) and released yesterday, include shots of Eurofighter Typhoons conducting a demonstration scramble during a media day, and an interview with German Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Swen Jacob, Detachment Commander, Baltic Air Policing.

Shot list:-

  • 00:00 ~ German Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon taking off in Latvia
  • 00:11 ~ German Eurofighters in flight
  • 01:15 ~ Eurofighters landing
  • 01:19 ~ Eurofighters taxiing on runway
  • 01:38 ~ Eurofighter parked on tarmac and Eurofighter taxiing on runway
  • 02:33 ~ Soundbite: German Air Force Lt Col Swen Jacob, Detachment Commander, Baltic Air Policing
  • 02:54 ~ Soundbite: Lt Col Swen Jacob
  • 03:25 ~ Soundbite: Lt Col Swen Jacob
  • 04:01 ~ Soundbite: Lt Col Swen Jacob

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* Effective 01 March 2024, the Latvian Military Base at Lielvārde was activated as the third NATO base to host Allied fighter detachments that will safeguard the skies over Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania conducting the Baltic Air Policing mission.

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