The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CF-188 Hornet fighter jets intercepted a Russian Su-27 Flanker aircraft operating near Romanian airspace over the Black Sea on October 18, 2018.
The RCAF Hornets were working with the Romanian Air Force as part of the NATO enhanced Air Policing (eAP) mission.
When the Russian aircraft was detected by the Control and Reporting Centre of the Romanian Air Force, RCAF Hornets were scrambled by NATO’s southern Combined Air Operations Centre at Torrejon, Spain. The Russian aircraft was closely monitored by the Hornets before it left the Romanian flight information region, RCAF said in a statement.
NATO’s enhanced Air Policing is a peacetime collective defence mission, safeguarding the integrity of the Alliance airspace. The responsibility for the mission was handed over to the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) by the UK Royal Air Force’s (RAF) 135 Expeditionary Air Wing during a ceremony at the Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base in Southern Romania earlier this month. The RAF had deployed its Eurofighter Typhoon jets for the mission.
The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) had send approximately 135 CAF personnel and five CF-18 Hornets to Constanta, Romania, to participate in the mission from September to December 2018. Air Task Force (ATF) in Romania is composed mainly of personnel from 425 Tactical Fighter Squadron, supported primarily by members of 2 Air Expeditionary Wing and 3 Wing Bagotville.
This mission is part of Operation REASSURANCE, Canada’s contribution to NATO assurance and deterrence measures in Central and Eastern Europe. During this deployment, the CF-18 Hornets will augment the Romanian Air Force’s air policing capabilities.
The CAF previously supported this mission through the air component of Op REASSURANCE when the ATF was deployed in Romania for the Block 45 of NATO enhanced Air Policing from September to December 2017, in Lithuania for the Block 36 of NATO Baltic Air Policing (BAP) from September to December 2014, and in Iceland from May to June 2017. In the context of NATO Air Policing, a block refers to the rotation of Allied nations conducting air policing missions.
The CAF first deployed an ATF to Romania as part of Op REASSURANCE from April to August 2014 at the Romanian Air Force 71st Air Base in Campia Turzii. During this mission, the CF-18 Hornet aircrew shared best practices with their Romanian counterparts, resulting in enhanced interoperability when securing the Alliance’s airspace.