The inter-governmental agreement between Poland and Czech Republic on cooperation in cross-border interventions of their military aircraft might be signed in 2018, Prague Defense Ministry said.
"At present, an inter-governmental agreement with Poland on cooperation in the military aviation is being prepared. It will primarily enable cross-border interventions by fighter planes of both countries to secure our air defence within the NATO Integrated Air Defence System (NATINADS)," Defence Ministry spokesman Jan Pejsek was quoted as saying by the Czech News Agency (CTK) Monday.
The agreement is in the final phase of preparation and it might be concluded next year, he added.
Czech JAS-39C/D Gripen multirole fighters fulfill primarily the tasks related to the air defence of the Czech Republic and the NATO within the system of NATINADS.
They are deployed in acute events several times a year. They mainly check planes that do not communicate, for instance, if they lost connection. The new agreement with Poland will allow a Czech fighter to accompany suspicious planes even above Polish territory.
The Czech Republic agreed to sign a treaty on cooperation in airspace protection with Slovakia as well, but this document is broader than the prepared agreement with Poland.
The Czech-Slovak bilateral agreement will allow pilots to interfere in the territory of the other country even with arms if terrorists kidnapped a civilian plane or if they wanted to launch an attack with it.
Besides, if one of the countries were unable to protect its airspace, the other would assist it, under the agreement.