Show of Forces in eastern Europe

Although NATO Days have been held in Ostrava since 2001, February 2022 marks a turning point. The largest security show in Europe is deliberately held in Eastern Europe. Since the invasion of Ukraine, NATO troops have been patrolling the eastern flank of the alliance area around the clock. The airport Leoš Janáček served already as a landing place for American B-52H bombers this year, which were on a deployment in RAF Fairford (UK). This makes clear that the frequent visits of the Stratofortress to Ostrava are not only for entertainment of spectators and spotters.

For the first time, Sweden brought their JAS39 Gripen E for a flying display to Czech Republic. This latest evolutionary stage has an AESA radar, 10 weapon stations, improved electronic warfare capabilities, improved human machine collaboration in a cockpit with wide area display and several more changes. Highlight of the static display are the two Turkish F-4E Phantom II 2020 Terminator from 111 Filo based in Eskişehir. 

To celebrate the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO in a fitting manner, at the end of each airshow day, a “Welcome to NATO flypast” with Hungarian JAS 39 C Gripen, Belgian F-16AM, Finnish F-18C and Swedish JAS 39 E took place. On Sunday, the local QRA Gripens from Čáslav joined the formation.

Due to death of the queen, Great Britain cancelled their Typhoon display at short notice, leaving the Austrian Air Force as the only representative with Eurofighter Typhoon in the air. They brought their freshly unvailed special painted aircraft with them.

From the aircraft companies Aero Vodochody presented the second L-39NG prototype and Embraer brought their KC-390 Milenium to the Czech Republic to seek for potential customers in Europe aside Hungary, the Netherlands and Portugal.

German Air Force presented an A400M in tanker configuration from LTG 62 with their new capability to refuel Czech Air Force JAS 39 Gripen during every airshow day.

Even though Czech wants to buy Lockheed Martin F-35A aircraft, only a mock up was presented in the static display. A dutch Lightning II (F-009) made a nonstop flight from Leeuwarden to Ostrava for 2 flybys.

Despite some cancellations and not so favourable weather conditions, 110,000 visitors attended this years edition of the NATO Days at Ostrava (most of them on Saturday).

Air Superiority Photo thanks all the organisers for an excellent NATO Days and looking foreward for the next year at Ostrava!

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