A squadron of Hungarian Air Force JAS 39 Gripen aircraft was deployed on Sunday night after a small aircraft from the Azeri capital Baku en route to Oxford failed to check in with the Hungarian civilian air control.
NATO’s Integrated Air Defense Command issued an alert and the Hungarian fighters escorted the plane out of Hungarian air space. They returned to the Kecskemét, Central Hungary air force base upon completing their mission.
On May 1st, Hungary will again assume its role of policing Baltic air space under NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission established in 2004 when the Baltic states joined the military alliance.
NATO members states assume this duty in four-month rotations from the Ämari Air Base in Estonia. Usual deployments consist of four fighter aircraft with between 50 and 100 support personnel.