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Six modern fighter aircraft shelters fitted up in Šiauliai in support of the NATO Baltic Air Policing Mission


As the project of aircraft shelters for air assets of the NATO Baltic Air Policing Mission was completed at the Lithuanian Air Force Base in Šiauliai six modern mobile fighter aircraft shelters were installed: three have undergone a fundamental renovation and three – new.


“The shelters will not only protect fighter jets from meteorological conditions but will also provide a facility for technical personnel to carry out operational maintenance of aircraft and weaponry in cases of low temperature,” commander of the Lithuanian Air Force Base Lieutenant Colonel Vidmantas Raklevičius said.


The commander also underscored that parking of fighter jets in heated shelters will ensure that reinforcement is available 24/7 for the NATO air policing contingent on duty to efficiently respond to possible violations of the Baltic airspace.


The project was implemented for the Air Base to ensure every kind of Host Nation Support for allies contributing to the NATO Baltic Air Policing Mission. Such a demand has particularly increased with regard to deployment of more allies’ fighter jets to the Lithuanian Air Force Base in response to the changes in the regional security situation that emerged in early 2014.


Prior to the offset of the project in August 2014, aircraft shelters dating back to 2004, worn-out during long exploitation and in need of renovation, were used at the Air Base.


The project of procuring and modernising the aircraft shelters was financed from the additional LTL 130 m allocated for national defence purposes this year. The project was implemented a British company that had one the contract.


Currently there are four Portugal’s F-16s and four Canada’s F-18s at the Air Base. They will transfer the mission to an air contingent of the Italian Air Force with four Eurofighter Typhoons which will be augmented by Poland’s pilots with four Mig-29s in the end of December.


Photo from MoD archives

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