Italian fighters to temporarily guard Bulgarian airspace
The Bulgarian government gave the green light for four Italian Eurofighter Typhoons to temporarily guard the country's airspace in order to strengthen the eastern flank of NATO, officials said Wednesday, cited by Xinhua.
The Italian fighter jets are to operate from July 15 to Oct. 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.
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./ FOCUS News Agency/