Eight Eurofighters and one A400M Atlas will spend four months in Ämari, Estonia

The strong deployment of Spanish military aircrafts in a very conflictive place in Europe

The Spanish Air Force is preparing for one of its largest combat aircrafts deployments since March 2022.

Icicles on the wings of the Spanish EF-18M fighters of the Viespe Detachment
The military purchases that Spain plans: MPA, MLRS and a substitute for the EF-18 and Harrier II

So, Spain deployed eight EF-18M fighters in Lithuania, a decision that was made without much publicity and weeks after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with Europe subjected to a enormous tension. That deployment ended on August 1, 2022, and since then Spain had not participated in the NATO Baltic Air Police (BAP) mission, although its combat aircrafts have participated in the Enhanced Air Policing (EAP) mission with the Strela Detachment in Bulgaria and the Tigru and Viespe Detachments in Romania.

A Spanish Eurofighter Typhoon (C.16-52, 11-16) of the Ala 11, based in Morón de la Frontera, Seville (Photo: Ejército del Aire).

As reported yesterday by the Spanish Air Force, on August 1st the deployment of eight Spanish Eurofigher Typhoons will begin in Ämari Air Base, Estonia, less than 200 kilometers from the Russian border. The unit chosen for this deployment is the 11th Wing of the Combat Air Command (MACOM), based in Morón de la Frontera (Seville). This deployment is expected to conclude on November 30. Until then, the eight Spanish fighters will be under the operational control of the Operations Command (MOPS), dependent on the Defense Staff (EMAD).

The Eurofighter Typhoon C.16-52 (11-52) of the 11th Wing of the Spanish Air Force (Photo: Koos Heemskerk / Ejército del Aire).

This Tactical Air Detachment Ámbar will be made up of 130 members of the Air Force, mostly belonging to the aforementioned 11th Wing, with support from other units. One of the main novelties of this deployment is that, in addition, together with the eight Eurofighters, an A400M Atlas transport aircraft of the Ala 31 will also be deployed, along with 35 members of this unit. The chosen plane will be one of the versions of the tanker plane that the Air Force has, since its mission will be to carry out in-flight refueling missions for the eight Spanish fighters deployed in Estonia. It is the first time that the Air Force has applied this configuration to a deployment of its combat aircraft abroad.

An Airbus A400M Atlas of the Ala 31 of the Spanish Air Force, the T.23-01 (31-21). One of these planes will participate in the Amber Detachment (Photo: Ejército del Aire).

Estonia is one of the smallest NATO countries. Its small air force has only seven aircrafts and no fighters. The closest thing it has to combat planes are two Aero L-39 trainers, which is why it needs the support of allied countries. In addition, this small Baltic country is located in a strategic place: one of Russia's two accesses to the Baltic Sea, and the more important of the two, since it gives access to the Gulf of Finland from the Bay from Luga, on whose shores is Saint Petersburg, Russia's second largest city (the other Russian access to the Baltic is from the Kaliningrad enclave).

One of the two Aero L-39 trainers of the Estonian Air Force (Photo: Anna Zvereva).

To the west of Saint Petersburg is the Kronstadt naval base , on the island of Kotlin, where the general command of the Russian navy and its Baltic Sea fleet are located. Also, north of Saint Petersburg is the Levashovo air base.

Generally, traffic of Russian military planes between Kaliningrad and Russia tends to cause conflicts, due to the bad habit of the Russian air force of flying its planes in breach of international aviation regulations >, without turning on their transponders or communicating their flight plans, forcing NATO BAP fighters to make frequent sorties to intercept and identify Russian aircraft. To this must be added the provocations of the Russian fighters and their unprofessional maneuvers, sometimes putting allied planes at risk.


Main photo: Ejército del Aire.

Don't miss the news and content that interest you. Receive the free daily newsletter in your email:

Opina sobre esta entrada:

Debes iniciar sesión para comentar. Pulsa aquí para iniciar sesión. Si aún no te has registrado, pulsa aquí para registrarte.