For two months, Saab Gripen-Cs from both the Hungarian and Czech air forces stood armed at Šiauliai Air Base in Lithuania. The first time ever in nearly 20 years of Baltic Air Policing. And as Alan Warnes reports, it should never have happened.
For the first time since the Baltic Air Policing (BAP) mission was created in 2004, Saab Gripen-Cs from both the Czech Republic and Hungarian air forces have been intercepting Russian aircraft side-by-side, all while NATO kept its watchful eye over the three Baltic states and the surrounding areas. No one knows what Putin’s aspirations longer term are, although at the moment he has enough on his hands with Ukraine.