France and Czech Republic Offer Support in Ukraine Crisis

France and Czech Republic Offer Support in Ukraine Crisis

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The French government has said it is willing to send Mirage 2000 fighters (pictured) to help bolster Poland's NATO Baltic Air Policing Mission in April. The Czech Republic has offered its Gripen C fighters to help patrol regional airspace also. Source: Sirpa Air/French Air Force France: The latest NATO countries, France and the Czech Republic, are offering fighter aircraft protection to those alliance members concerned over the situation in Crimea and the continuing Russian build-up on Ukraine's eastern border. The French government has expressed that it would bolster Poland's upcoming Baltic Air Policing Mission with fighter and airborne early warning aircraft. The following day the Czech government announced that it would deploy fighter aircraft to help protect the airspace of those countries that border or are near to Ukraine if requested to do so.

According to national media, France is willing to send Dassault Mirage 2000 fighters and Boeing E-3F Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft to support the Polish MiG-29 Fulcrum detachment to Siauliai Air Base from April. The UK has also offered to deploy Eurofighter Typhoons to support this Polish Air Force detachment, but is awaiting a response from NATO. For its part, the Czech government is willing to use its Saab Gripen C fighter aircraft to protect the airspace of those countries bordering Ukraine that request it. The French and Czech offers of combat aircraft support are the latest in a series of similar regional overtures and actual deployments that are designed to provide materiel and psychological support for those eastern NATO members who are nervously viewing events in Ukraine and the Crimea.

Source: Janes