Thracian Viper: Bulgaria prepares for the Bear

With its accession to NATO in 2004, Bulgaria’s airspace became alliance airspace, and the Bulgarian Air Force’s fighters began operating as part of NATO’s Integrated Air and Missile Defence System (NATINAMDS). 

Thracian Viper 20 [Giovanni Colla/Daniele Faccioli]
A MiG-29 back from a training sortie at Graf Ignatievo Air Base, Bulgaria, on October 22, 2020. All images Giovanni Colla and Daniele Faccioli unless stated otherwise

Delivering a constant capability, NATINAMDS safeguards alliance countries in accordance with international law. Allied Air Command at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, oversees this collective mission, in co-operation with combined air operations centres (CAOCs) at Uedem, Germany, and Torrejón, Spain. In peacetime, the NATO allies declare their national air surveillance networks and alert fighter assets to the 24/7 NATINAMDS mission. 

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