Monday, June 14, 2021

Italian Air Force deploys four F-35A stealth fighters to Estonia

Aeronautica Miliare Italiana, commonly known as the Italian Air Force, has deployed four fifth-generation F-35A stealth fighter jets to Estonia to conduct an air surveillance mission to support the NATO alliance.

Italian Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II fighter aircraft have arrived at Ämari Air Base, west of Tallinn, ahead of the official handover of the NATO Baltic Air Policing duties from the outgoing German Air Force (Luftwaffe) contingent.

Italian F-35A will replace the German Eurofighter Typhoon fighters in rotation.

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It’s also important to note that Italian F-35A stealth fighters are equipped with Luneburg radar reflectors designed to increases the radar cross-section (RCS) of aircraft to hide stealth features of aircraft.

They will be taking on the Baltic air policing duties from the Germans next week. NATO air forces often use the Ämari posting to carry out valuable training exercises as well as the more quotidian tasks of identifying and sometimes escorting Russian Federation jets flying close to Baltic States’ air space.

The tour is the second to be conducted by Italians since Estonia joined NATO in 2004; the last time the Aeronautica Militare was at Ämari came in 2018.

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About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
U.S. defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.

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