RAF Typhoons return to Romania for air policing mission

Four Royal Air Force (RAF)-operated Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4s from RAF Lossiemouth in Moray, Scotland, have arrived in Romania to support NATO’s ongoing enhanced Air Policing (eAP) mission.

This quartet of multi-role fighters – assigned to the RAF’s No 9 (Bomber) Squadron – flew from Lossiemouth to Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base near Constanta, located on Romania’s Black Sea coast, on April 23. The four Typhoon FGR4s that deployed to Romania are serials: ZK323 (c/n 322), ZK331 (c/n 343), ZK347 (c/n 390) and ZK354 (c/n 413).

This latest deployment marks the third time the UK has supported NATO’s eAP mission, which is designed to further enhance the national air policing operations conducted by the Romanian Air Force as part of the alliance’s collective air defence system.

Typhoon FGR4s [MoD Crown Copyright/Sgt Ashley Keates]
A pair of RAF-operated Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4s - serials ZK323 (c/n 322) and ZK347 (c/n 390) - depart RAF Lossiemouth in Moray, Scotland, for Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base in Romania on April 23, 2021. MoD Crown Copyright/Sgt Ashley Keates

During this deployment – which will last over the summer – the Typhoon FGR4 detachment will be augmented by approximately 180 personnel from across the RAF. These service members arrived in Romania ahead of the Typhoons and will be responsible for the operation of the multi-role fighters through the deployment. Together, the four aircraft and associated support personnel form the 121 Expeditionary Air Wing (EAW), which is led by Wg Cdr Lamping.

He said: “This pre-planned deployment is the latest RAF contribution to NATO Air Policing. We have returned to Romania to reassure our allies that the UK is fully committed to working alongside our NATO partners to secure the alliance’s skies.

“This defensive Air Policing mission in the Black Sea region is very similar to UK Quick Reaction Alert, so the pilots and supporting personnel are experienced operators when it comes to delivering NATO Air Policing. Despite the difficult circumstances caused by COVID-19, we are well prepared and ready to deliver the mission,” he added.

Prior to deploying to Romania, personnel deploying as part of the 121 EAW completed all the necessary measures to ensure that both the British and Romanian mandated COVID-19 precautions have been followed.