Building partnerships over fish and chips was on the menu for the Royal Air Force, Army Air Corps and Estonian Air Force Allies at Ämari Air Base, Estonia.

Personnel in the RAF’s deployed catering facility took a well-earned lunch break to enjoy a hearty portion of the nation’s favourite dish to celebrate national fish and chip day. The RAF are on Operation Azotize, the UK’s contribution to NATO’s Baltic Air Policing, flying Typhoon fighter jets to protect Baltic airspace and reassure their NATO allies.

Sqn Ldr Macfarlane, deployed as part of 121 Expeditionary Air Wing, said:

“We’re having lunch today in 3 Mobile Catering Squadron’s mess tent and sharing some delicious fresh fish and chips with our Estonian Air Force friends to celebrate the UK’s National Fish and Chip Day. We’re here to contribute to NATO’s Baltic Air Policing, supporting our NATO allies and friends. We work very closely with our Estonian colleagues and it’s great to share some of our traditions with them.”

The AAC are also on operation in Estonia but under Operation Cabrit, part of NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) mission to defend and protect the Baltic states against any potential aggression. Captain Aliis Grabbi from the Estonian Air Force was invited with several of her colleagues to share the iconic British lunch with the RAF and Army. She said:

“In Estonia we have fish and we have chips but we don’t eat them together, so it was a good experience. I really enjoyed it, the chefs here have done a great job.”

RAF fire fighter, Senior Aircraftman Ferrie was having lunch during his shift and said:

“We’ve just come from the fire section. We’re stocking up on lunch for some fire training later today with our Estonian colleagues. It’s a treat to have fish and chips, particularly as it’s National Fish and Chip Day. The RAF has a long tradition of ‘Fish Frydays’ too.”


Notes to editors:

  • OP AZOTIZE is the UK contribution to NATO enhanced Air Policing which forms part of NATO’s Baltic Air Policing (BAP) Mission. In turn this forms part of the NATO Assurance Measures first announced in 2014. The RAF have returned to Ämari Air Base in Estonia for the third time. Their last deployment was in 2016. Four RAF Typhoon aircraft are conducting the mission to demonstrate its leadership and commitment to NATO and offer reassurance in the Baltic Sea Region. This builds on previous RAF experience gained on Baltic Air Policing and recent enhanced Air Policing missions in Romania.
  • The Typhoons have deployed from RAF Coningsby and are based at Ämari Air Base, Estonia for four months during the summer of 2019.
  • XI (Fighter) Squadron is based at RAF Coningsby, one of the two QRA stations in the UK and is the world's oldest, dedicated fighter unit. Previous aircraft flown include the Bristol Scout, Hurricane II, Lightning F6 and Tornado F3.
  • XI (Fighter) Squadron policed the no-fly zone over Libya during Operation ELLAMY.
  • The Typhoon is an extremely agile, multirole combat aircraft used in all the RAF’s current operations, capable of being deployed for the full spectrum of air operations, including air policing, peace support and high intensity conflict.


The Typhoon FGR.Mk 4 is a highly capable and extremely agile fourth-generation multi-role combat aircraft, capable of being deployed for the full spectrum of air operations, including air policing, peace support and high intensity conflict. Initially deployed in the air-to-air role as the Typhoon F.Mk 2, the aircraft now has a potent, precision multi-role capability as the FGR4. The pilot performs many essential functions through the aircraft’s hands on throttle and stick (HOTAS) interface which, combined with an advanced cockpit and the Helmet Equipment Assembly (HEA), renders Typhoon superbly equipped for all aspects of air operations.

Although Typhoon has flown precision attack missions in all its combat deployments to date, its most essential role remains the provision of quick reaction alert (QRA) for UK and Falkland Islands airspace. Detachments have also reinforced NATO air defence in the Baltic and Black Sea regions.


With its multi-role capability and variety of weapons, the Typhoon FGR4 is capable of engaging numerous target types. In the air-to-air role it employs the infrared guided Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM), radar-guided, beyond visual range Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) and Meteor the Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM). Meteor is the next generation missile, further extending capability and is aimed at meeting the needs of a network-centric environment with data link communication. These weapons, used in conjunction with the jet’s ECR-90 Captor radar and PIRATE electro-optical targeting system, combine with the Typhoon’s superior performance and manoeuvrability to make it a formidable platform.

For ground-attack and close air support (CAS) missions, Typhoon is compatible with the GPS/laser-guided Enhanced Paveway II and Paveway IV weapons, usually in conjunction with the Litening III targeting pod. Its regular configuration for the armed reconnaissance and CAS roles includes Litening III, Paveway IV and the internal 27mm gun.

For further news stories, pictures and videos on Op AZOTIZE 2019 please follow the website and social media links:

Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of Rise Communications, on Thursday 6 June, 2019. For more information subscribe and follow

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