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Germans takes over Baltic NATO mission

Jun 29, 2005
By TBT staff

VILNIUS - German Air Force servicemen will take over the NATO sanctioned three-month Baltic air-policing mission from a Dutch contingent on June 23.

VILNIUS - German Air Force servicemen will take over the NATO sanctioned three-month Baltic air-policing mission from a Dutch contingent on June 23.

Some 50 German servicemen will guard the airspace above Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia with four F-4 Phantom jet fighters.

Manufactured by the U.S. company McDonnell (later McDonnell-Douglas), the multipurpose fighter Phantom first took off in late May 1958. The last Phantom was manufactured in October 1979. The aircraft is still used by the armed forces of nine countries, although the United States stopped using these jets in 1996.

The German Air Force has recently been modernizing its aircraft park. Phantom and Tornado fighters are replaced by state-of-the-art Eurofighter EF2000 Typhoon. Therefore, the mission of Phantom fighters in Lithuania may be one of their last in the German Air Force.

According to a press release from Lithuania's Defense Ministry, the Aircraft Control Unit of the Norwegian Royal Air Force's mission in Lithuania will also end on June 23.

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