Britain's Royal Air Force (RAF) is due to be return to Estonia in 2019 as part of the ongoing NATO Baltic air policing mission, British Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson announced on Friday.
In addition to this, the RAF will also conduct NATO air policing in Iceland for the first time. These new UK deployments acknowledge the importance of the alliance to Europe's defence, stability and security, Williamson said at the NATO defence ministerial in Brussels.
The Estonia deployment will see four RAF Typhoons returning to the Ämari air base in Estonia. It will be the first time since 2016 that the RAF have been involved in this mission. Later in the year the Typhoons will patrol Icelandic airspace.
"These deployments will allow the UK to work closely with allies to deter aerial threats to Euro Atlantic security. The mission will also provide the RAF with unique opportunities to test its skills in different environments," the minister said.
As part of NATO's air policing measures, which see NATO fighter jets ready to react 24/7, 365 days a year, the UK currently has four Typhoons deployed to Mihail Kogălniceanu Airbase in Romania supporting security in the South and the Black Sea region.
Editor: Andrew Whyte