RAF Voyager spotted heading over Estonia in major NATO operation

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The air-to-air refuelling tanker aircraft flew over Estonia close to the country’s capital Talinn on Thursday morning. Its appearance comes after RAF Typhoons from RAF Lossiemouth joined NATO-led exercise Ramstein Alloy in the skies over the east European state.

The huge air exercise aimed to train quick reaction forces protecting the skies in the region. It also sought to demonstrate NATO’s airpower.

Supported by an RAF Voyager refueller from RAF Brize Norton, the Royal Air Force flew with Finnish Air Force F/A-18s, German Typhoon and Belgian F-16s during the exercise.

French, Spanish, Czech and Swedish fast jets also took part.

Lieutenant General Pascal Delerce, Deputy Commander Allied Air Command, said in a statement: “Allied fighters train consistently throughout the year with allies and partners to maintain the highest levels of readiness and performance.

“Exercises such as Ramstein Alloy are the foundation of our air policing mission, which is a part of the 360 degree deterrence of the Euro-Atlantic Area.”

NATO said the exercise involved slow moving intercepts, a simulated crew ejection, activation of the search and rescue chain, air-to-air combat training and air-to-air refueling.

According to the RAF, Voyager is the RAF’s sole air-to-air refuelling tanker. It also operates as a strategic air transport.  

The jet is in service as the Voyager KC.Mk 2 and equipped with two underwing pods for refuelling fast jets. It also serves as the Voyager KC.Mk 3 with an extra hose for use by large aircraft. 

More to follow…

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