Germany, Poland agree to defend each other's airspace

by Gareth Jennings

Germany and Poland have agreed to allow each other’s combat aircraft to cross their national borders in the event of a quick reaction alert (QRA) scramble.

Under a new agreement, Luftwaffe Eurofighters (pictured) and Polish F-16s and MiG-29s will be able to cross into each other’s airspace during QRA missions. (Janes/Patrick Allen)

Under a new agreement, Luftwaffe Eurofighters (pictured) and Polish F-16s and MiG-29s will be able to cross into each other’s airspace during QRA missions. (Janes/Patrick Allen)

Announced on 12 May, the agreement signed in Warsaw between the German and Polish defence ministries will allow Luftwaffe Eurofighters to cross into Poland and Polish air force (Inspektorat Sił Powietrznych: ISP) Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon and MiG-29 ‘Fulcrum’ fighters to cross into Germany.

“This agreement will be the future, to allow our QRA fighter aircraft to operate across borders in our combined airspace,” said Commander Centre Air Operations, Luftwaffe Lieutenant General Klaus Habersetzer. “This not only protects our own populations, but it is ultimately good for the whole [NATO] alliance.”

As Gen Habersetzer noted, this agreement will form part of NATO’s enhanced Air Policing (eAP) mission that also includes missions that cover Albania; Iceland; Slovenia; the Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania; the Benelux nations of Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg; the Baltic Air Policing mission over Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania; and the Southern Air Policing nations of Bulgaria and Romania.

A NATO spokesperson confirmed to Janes

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Germany and Poland have agreed to allow each other’s combat aircraft to cross their national borders...

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