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RAF F-35 Lightnings join NATO mission

Three Fighter jets in flight.

The RAF’s newest 5th Generation Fighter jets have joined NATO’s Enhanced Vigilance Patrols for the first time, on the 3rd March 22.

The Lightnings from RAF Marham joined the Typhoon FGR4 jets taking part in pre-planned Enhanced Vigilance Activity, which is a NATO led Operation initiated due to the unfolding events in Ukraine.  This activity provides air policing of NATO airspace ensuring a robust response to the Russian aggression seen in Ukraine and further contributing to the security of Europe.

The RAF are currently contributing Typhoon FGR4 aircraft, flying from both RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire and RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus as well as F-35 Lightnings from RAF Marham o the NATO Mission.

Four Fighter jets in flight.

The state-of-the-art F-35 stealth fighters can be armed with a variety of Air-to-Air and Air to Ground weapons and are capable of multiple simultaneous missions such as air defence policing whilst intelligence gathering.

Fighter jets during air-to-air refuelling.

Currently, RAF fighter aircraft are patrolling NATO airspace over Poland and Romania, once more demonstrating the UK’s unwavering commitment to the NATO Alliance.

Fighter jet during air-to-air refuelling.

The aircraft were supported by RAF Voyager Air-to-air refuelling aircraft from RAF Brize Norton, who offer additional fuel for the fighters so enabling greater range, providing greater mission endurance, and showing the reach of UK air power to support NATO’s defence mission.

"The F-35 is an incredibly capable and versatile aircraft.  Operating alongside Typhoon to maintain the integrity of European airspace and contribute to the NATO mission, the 5th Generation fighter is a world leading aircraft which can simultaneously provide electronic warfare, intelligence gathering and unmatched sensor fusion to support a wide spectrum of combat capabilities."

Group Captain Marr
Station Commander RAF Marham

Fighter jet during air-to-air refuelling.