Bratislava, 2 (DPA/EP)
Today, Saturday, the German Air Force began flights to protect the airspace of Slovakia within the framework of NATO cooperation, an initiative that will last until December 22.
Berlin explained that two Eurofighter fighters from the 74th Squadron of the Tactical Air Force, stationed in Neuburg an der Donau, southern Germany, will be on permanent alert to intercept unknown or hostile aircraft in Slovak airspace in case of emergency.
In addition, training flights over Slovakia and landings in that country are planned. Slovakia is part of NATO’s eastern wing and is a direct neighbor of Ukraine, which was the target of a Russian invasion last year.
Slovakia delivered its S-300 air defense missile system to Ukraine in April 2022. Instead, the United States and the Netherlands have deployed one Patriot system each with NATO ally partner forces, and Germany two. These systems have been retired.
Moreover, Slovakia handed over its Soviet MiG-29 fighters to Ukraine in March, and thus could no longer protect its airspace on its own. Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary initially assumed this task, and Germany has now joined it.
This weekend, the German Air Force will also take part in the air show of the two-day Slovak International Air Festival, at the Slovak military airfield of Kucina, 42 kilometers north of Bratislava.
The military airport is also used by the US Air Force under an agreement between Slovakia and the United States.