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NATO Holds Aerial Drill in Czech Republic

Sputnik News

13:05 12.05.2015(updated 13:40 12.05.2015)

Fighter pilots from Hungary and Sweden flew Gripen jets to the Čáslav air base in the Czech Republic ahead of a multinational drill slated to run until May 24, Czech radio reported Monday.

The exercise, codenamed Lion Effort, marks a decade that Gripen fighter jets have been used to guard Czech airspace, Radio Prague said in a broadcast.

In 2009 and 2011, similar exercises were held in Hungary and Sweden.

The Czech air force sent L-159 light combat planes, Mi-24 assault helicopters, Mi-171 multipurpose helicopters and C-295 CASA transport aircraft to take part in live flying training.

German Typhoon Eurofighter jets and Polish F-16 fighters will support Lion Effort flying from their respective home bases. A NATO Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) platform will assist with command and control operating in Poland.

Thailand, whose air force also operates the Gripen, will be taking part in an observer role only.

The military exercises will wrap-up with an air show and an open doors day at the base.


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