Friday, March 5, 2010

FRONTEX Aircraft Threatened by Turkey

DefenceNet reports that Turkey today tried to claim Greek airspace between Chios and Samos Islands as Turkish. At sunrise the same Polish FRONTEX aircraft from our previous post was patrolling the area and received 15 warnings from 2 Turkish ground radar stations. The warnings were to leave the area as supposedly the aircraft was flying within Turkish airspace. The aircraft was threatened with having a tactical operation mounted against it.

The Polish FRONTEX aircraft was at the time patrolling in the vicinity of Samos and Chios at an altitude of 3,000 feet in search for illegal immigrants. The patrol was according to an established patrol route.

The warnings by the Turkish side started at 04:31 and lasted nearly 3 hours until 07:18. The aircraft had taken off at 04:06 and landed again at 07:57. Despite the threats the Turkish side did not send fighters to carry out the “tactical operation”.

DefenceNet further reports that the Greek Air Force is monitoring the situation very closely. The moment Turkish fighters spin up their engines the Greek side is informed and there is at least a 30 minute warning before Turkish fighters can reach the area, according to one of their sources.

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