Through a shimmering heat haze, the pilots of two sleek combat aircraft run to their jets, armed and ready beneath makeshift sun shelters on a Romanian base near the Black Sea coast. These are not the crews of the home nation’s Aerostar-adapted MiG-21 Lancer interceptors, however, but of Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4s, deployed to help safeguard NATO territory.

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