The Hungarian Air Force is preparing to take over the leadership of the NATO Baltic Air Policing mission by May 2019. It should be assisted by the Spanish Air Force in Lithuania, and the British Royal Air Force from Estonia.
The Hungarian Air Force will deploy four JAS-39 Gripen fighter jets and the Spanish Air Force five F-18 fighter jets at the Lithuanian Air Force Aviation Base in Siauliai, northern Lithuania. As for the Royal Air Force, it should provide four Eurofighter Typhoon fighters that will operate from the Amari Air Force Base, in northwestern Estonia. This rotation will be the 50th since the creation of the NATO air policing mission in 2004.
Baltic Air Policing is one of the main missions of NATO air forces. It protects Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian airspaces from incursions, as these countries have no airborne capability of their own. Currently, that mission is being carried out by the German Luftwaffe and the Polish Air Force.