19:28 GMT +313 December 2019
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    A British Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jet is seen on the tarmac at the British airbase at Akrotiri, near Cyprus' second city of Limassol on December 3, 2015

    Next! UK to Commence Baltic Air Policing Mission in April

    © AFP 2019 / IAKOVOS HATZISTAVROU
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    The United Kingdom will take over the Baltic Air Policing mission later in April, the UK Ministry of Defence said on Sunday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The United Kingdom is to patrol the Baltic states' skies for four months in 2016 as part of the rotating NATO mission to defend Baltic airspace. Four UK Eurofighter Typhoon multirole fighters will be based at the Amari airbase in Estonia, while the HMS Iron Duke frigate will return to resume its six-month deployment to northern Europe after returning from exercises near the coast of Scotland, according to the statement.

    "Royal Air Force Typhoon jets and the Royal Navy warship HMS Iron Duke will deploy to the Baltic this month as part of the UK’s commitment to eastern European allies," the MoD said in a news statement published on the UK government website.

    The new mission takes over from Belgian and Spanish Eurofighter Typhoon jets that had been deployed to the Baltic states from January 2016.

    The three Baltic states comprising Latvia, Estonia and neighboring Lithuania do not possess air patrol capabilities. Since joining NATO in 2004, the three Baltic countries' airspace has been defended by a rotating NATO mission.

    NATO's main base in the Baltic region is located at the Zokniai Air Force Base in Latvia, while the Estonian Amari Air Base has been used by the alliance since 2014.

    Related:

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    Spain, Belgium to Patrol Baltic States' Airspace in 2016
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