A German Air Force (Luftwaffe) unit is due to replace its French Air Force (Armée de l'Air Française) counterpart in NATO air policing duties, based at Ämari air base in northwestern Estonia, from the week commencing 27 August.
German Air Force to take over Ämari role
A ceremony marking the rotation handover is to take place at Ämari on Thursday, spokespersons for the Ministry of Defence have announced.
The German contingent is set to made up of four Eurofighter Typhoon jets and replaces the four Mirage 2000-5 jets currently stationed at Ämari, it is reported.
Both NATO air and land forces, the latter centred around the northeastern Estonian town of Tapa, operate on a rotational basis with personnel from several nations including the Netherlands, Spain, the US, the UK, and several more in addition to those of France and Germany, taking part.
The Typhoon is a atwin-engine,canard-delta wing,multirole fighter built by a consortium of companies from several European nations, under the auspices of German company Eurofighter JagdflugzeugGmbH and entered service in 1994. The Dassault Mirage 2000-5 multi-role, single-engined figher is a later version of the Mirage 2000 from the long-serving Mirage series of fighter planes, entering service in 1984. It is no longer in production.
A major incident was sparked on 7 August when an AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missile was inadvertently fired from a Eurofighter Typhoon in Spanish Air Force service, and on NATO duties, while flying over southern Estonia. Despite an extensive search of the likely impact zone extrapolated from the missile's direction, speed etc., it, or debris from it, has not been found and the search has reportedly been abandoned.