The British government will send four fighter jets to Iceland next year, as a part of NATO obligations to patrol the army-less country’s airspace.
Fréttablaðið reports that Secretary of State for Defence Gavin Williamsson announced yesterday that four Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets from the Royal Air Force would be coming to Iceland next year.
“The reason for this is we live in a more uncertain world,” he said from Brussels yesterday. “It’s to make sure we demonstrate a clear deterrent, and the fact that Britiain is willing to stand shoulder to shoulder with our allies as they stand with us. The British armed forces has always been the absolute centre of NATO. We’re very proud of the role we’ve played in the past, and we’re very proud of the role we’ll play in the future.”
This will mark the first time in 11 years that British forces take part in Iceland’s air defence. During the 2008 financial crash, many British depositors in Icelandic banks lost a considerable amount of money that they could not recover, and in the wake of this, Britain decided to cease air patrols of the country.
Iceland, having no military of its own but being a part of NATO, is regularly air patrolled by contingents from other NATO countries. Countries from the US and Canada to Denmark and Germany have all taken part in these exercises.