Picture: MOD.

RAF F-35 jets join NATO mission following Russian invasion

Royal Air Force F-35 Lightning jets joined Enhanced Vigilance Patrols for the first time.

Picture: MOD.

RAF F-35 Lightning aircraft have joined NATO's Enhanced Vigilance Patrols for the first time – an operation started in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The activity ensures policing of the skies over NATO member states.

Lightning jets from RAF Marham have taken part alongside Typhoon aircraft from RAF Coningsby, in Lincolnshire, and RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus.

Royal Air Force combat aircraft are conducting patrols of NATO airspace over Poland and Romania.

The planes have been refuelled mid-air by RAF Voyagers from Brize Norton, enabling them to travel further.

Station Commander RAF Marham said: "The F-35 is an incredibly capable and versatile aircraft.

"Operating alongside the Typhoons to maintain the integrity of the European airspace and contribute to the NATO mission, the 5th Generation Fighter is a world-beating fighter aircraft which can simultaneously provide information warfare, intelligence gathering and air-to-air missions."