The Hungarian Air Force’s Baltic air policing mission, conducted by the Hungarian Gripen aircraft in the framework of NATO’s Baltic Air Policing (BAP) mission for the past four months, has ended.
The Polish Air Force is replacing the Hungarian fighters as the lead nation in Siauliai, Lithuania, Hungarian news agency MTI reports.
The contingent of four Hungarian fighter jets controlling the Baltic airspace was alerted 19 times during the mission, taking off 246 times and logging 304 flight hours. In all cases, alarms were triggered by the appearance of unidentified Russian aircraft.
As the lead nation, the Hungarian Defense Forces has been performing air policing missions in the Baltic (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) in cooperation with the air forces of five other NATO member states (Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Belgium, and Italy) for the past four months. This is necessary because the Baltic States do not have their own fighter aircraft.
This was the third time that the Hungarian Air Force has been deployed in the Baltic region, after 2015, and 2019.
Without Hungary's military, NATO would not be as strong, the Foreign Minister reminded his audience.Continue reading
Gábor Gion, State Secretary at the Ministry of Defense, stressed that the Hungarian Defense Forces were guarding the airspace at a time of war in Ukraine and the escalation of tensions between NATO and Russia at a level not seen since the Cold War. In this situation, the Hungarian Air Force performed excellently, and they have expressed their intention to have Hungary back in the Baltic airspace control in 2025, he added.