A deployment of Czech Air Force fighter aircraft will be approved to guard the airspace of fellow NATO member Slovakia, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala announced on 3 July.
“We will help Slovakia until it has new planes at its disposal,” Fiala said during a Czech television debate with Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger. “The government will certainly approve it.”
The move allows Slovakia to transfer its MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine.
Slovakia had earlier asked NATO allies to patrol its skies after it decided to ground its own fleet of Russian-made MiG-29 fighter jets before sending the MiGs to Ukraine to help Kyiv in its battle against Russian forces.
Slovakia ordered 14 F-16 fighters from the United States in 2018 to replace its ageing MiG fleet. The first F-16s were scheduled to arrive this year however, the delivery has been pushed back until 2024.
The Czech Republic will send fighter jets to protect Slovakia’s airspace starting in September.