The Hungarian Air Force is taking part in the largest air force exercise in NATO history in Germany between June 12-23. During Air Defender 2023, 10,000 troops from 25 nations will use 250 aircraft to practice air operations in European airspace in the spirit of transatlantic solidarity. The Hungarian Defense Forces is participating in the joint international training with five JAS 39 Gripen fighter aircraft and 48 soldiers, Honvédelem.hu reports.
In the last few days, the Gripen aircraft of the Hungarian Defense Forces carried out a so-called BALTOPS mission with a NATO convoy sailing in the Baltic Sea. During the more than two-hour flight, the participants practiced the air defense and attack of the fleet, while gaining valuable experience in the specifics of flying in international airspace and over international waters, as well as in performing tactical tasks over the high seas.
The Hungarian Gripen aircraft will perform their missions in so-called Composite Air Operations (COMAO), in which up to 100 aircraft will sometimes fly and work together in the same airspace. Four Hungarian aircraft take to the skies every day, each mission lasts on average two hours, is highly complex, and is determined by the current mission briefing, whether the Hungarian aircraft are either on the offensive or the defensive.
The main objective of the Air Defender 2023 exercise is to increase and expand cooperation between the forces involved, demonstrating the strength of NATO.
The training exercises will take place mainly over the North Sea, the Baltic Sea, and Southern Germany. The exercises are aimed at coordinating communications and procedures between the 25 participating nations and enhancing preparedness to defend against aircraft, and drone and missile attacks against cities and critical infrastructure. Other training events will include support for ground troops and evacuation exercises.
The volume of Air Defender 2023 allows the participants to practice and train a lot, as well as to integrate home training exercises into the flights. The exercise provides an opportunity for NATO to increase its preparedness and defense capabilities through joint training.
Featured photo via Facebook/MH vitéz Szentgyörgyi Dezső 101. Repülődandár