Italian fighters to temporarily guard Bulgarian airspace
The Italian fighter jets are to operate from July 15 to October 15 with the Bulgarian Air Force in the implementation of the measures on ensuring the security of member states on the eastern flank of NATO, the Government Information Service (GIS) said in a press release, Focus Information Agency reports.
The joint mission would be conducted according to the NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defense System, the GIS said.
The tasks of the Italian aircraft would include interception, visual identification, and accompaniment, the GIS said.
The four Italian jets and up to 110 personnel would be deployed at the Graf Ignatievo air base north of the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv, it added.
Bulgaria, a NATO member since 2004, has been defending the alliance's airspace by performing NATO air policing duties with its Soviet-made MiG-29 and MiG-21 fighters. ■