RAF Typhoons arrive for Falkland Islands mission

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Four Eurofighter Typhoons from the UK Royal Air Force have arrived at Mount Pleasant airport in the Falkland Islands, where the type will soon replace the service's Panavia Tornado F3 to deliver air defence services.

The Typhoons left RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire on 12 September accompanied by a spare aircraft, and were flown to the South Atlantic with support from in-flight refuelling aircraft. The fighters have been drawn from the RAF's 3 Sqn, but left the UK without unit markings.

 
© Peter Foster
Four Typhoons have been deployed to the Falkland Islands

Pictured shortly before its departure from the UK, Typhoon FGR4 ZJ944 is seen armed with MBDA Asraam short-range air-to-air missiles. The type is also equipped with an internally-housed 27mm Mauser cannon.

"The Typhoon is taking over the quick reaction alert duties in the Falkland Islands from the Tornado F3, which is being gradually removed from service," says the RAF. The commitment of four of the new type represents a one-for-one replacement, it adds.

The Falkland Islands mission is the first frontline overseas commitment of the RAF's Typhoons since the type entered UK service earlier this decade.

German Eurofighters are currently providing air policing services for Baltic states Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania from Lithuania's Siauliai air base, while Italian air force examples are providing similar cover for Albania.