The Hungarian Air Force's (HunAF) Gripen fighters have been alerted over 40 times with a total of over 370 take-offs and 400 flight hours at the ongoing Baltic Air Policing mission, reports the Hungary Journal.
The Hungarian Air Force has been leading the Baltic mission since May this year along with the Royal Air Force (RAF) and the Spanish Air Force (SPAF). The three airforces are responsible for monitoring the airspace over and near Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. On missions like these, the participating fighters carry out tasks that include identification of out-of-schedule aircraft, those that fail to establish contact with the air traffic controllers, and planes that do not seem to respond to radio signals.
“It is also their (Gripen fighters’) duty to provide support to other forces stationed in the Baltics in order to strengthen their security,” says Hungarian Air Force Brigadier General Csaba Ugrik.
The HuAF Gripen fighters, assisted by the RAF Eurofighters and the SPAF Hornets, have so far intercepted multiple cargo and reconnaissance aircraft including- AN-24, AN-26, TU-214R, IL-18, IL-38, IL-76 planes.
This is the second NATO Baltic mission for the Hungarian Gripen since 2015. The participating Hungarian Air Force contingent consists of 96 soldiers and four Gripen C/D fighters. The Czech Gripen fighters along with the Danish and the Belgian Air Forces will be taking over the mission next month.
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