Czech Air Force In The Spotlight At NATO Days 2023 In Ostrava



Czech ALCA Show position demo in full swing. (All pictures: Creator)

Every little thing it’s essential to find out about Ostrava NATO Days 2023.

On Sep. 15 -17, 2023, we attended the annual NATO Days in Ostrava. The organizers pronounced the occasion to be an amazing success, with a complete of 185,000 guests. The Ostrava NATO Days is a protection and safety present that permits most people to realize perception within the Czech and regional traits on this space. The occasion has two dimensions, one within the type of the NATO Days correct, whereas the opposite is known as Czech Air Drive Days, mainly being an enormous, worldwide air present.

It has been the twenty third version of NATO Days, and 14th version of Czech Air Force Days this 12 months. The present will be thought-about probably the most important of protection and safety occasions held within the CEE (Central and Jap Europe) area.

Czech Hind helicopter throughout its show.

This 12 months’s present’s main theme was the modernization efforts undertaken by the Czech Republic (and surrounding nations) within the wake of the Russian aggression in Ukraine. Legacy platforms such because the Mi-24 helicopters, had been offered alongside their replacements (UH-1Y and AH-1Z in Czech camo within the case of the rotary-wing plane).

Czech Gripens escorting USAF F-35.

The Ostrava present this 12 months might need been one of many final alternatives to witness the Hinds and Hips flying collectively, for a NATO nation. Throughout the opening flypast, two Czech Gripens accompanied the US F-35, to mark the Czech intent to obtain Lockheed’s prime fighter platform.

RAF F-35B.

Notably, the Czech Air Drive Days have additionally turn out to be a venue the place the U.S. Air Drive F-35 Lightning II had its European air present premiere, as a dynamic show. And this additionally got here in two dimensions, as each the USAF F-35A demonstration workforce, in addition to the Royal Navy’s/RAF F-35B carried out their show routines in Ostrava. Nonetheless, the British show was considerably underwhelming – the jet solely carried out a hover close to the gang line and landed.

This, alone, is a formidable feat, nevertheless, when positioned towards the background of the spectacular show carried out by Kristin “BEO” Wolfe of the US F-35 Demo Staff (actually a real showstopper, with sq. loop and spectacular excessive AoA maneuvers), the viewers might have been longing for extra.

Kristin BEO Wolfe throughout her spectacular F-35 solo present.

Solo jet shows additionally included two Gripen demos – of Hungarian and Czech Air Drive. Notably, the Czech demo pilot now performs the identical dump and burn maneuver as his Hungarian counterpart (though technically this isn’t attributable to dumping gas, because the afterburner ignites the gas coming from a vent pipe positioned close to the nozzle on the JAS 39A-D fashions; Gripen has system pressurized tanks and the pipe is related to the Managed Vent Unit and strain regulator within the vent tank). This may increasingly turn out to be the Gripen’s occasion piece.

HunAF Gripen igniting the gas popping out of its vent tank.

The Czechs additionally use Ostrava to showcase the achievements of their aviation trade. This 12 months we may have witnessed a solo ALCA floor assault position show, and a solo show of the Aero Vodochody’s L-39NG coach jet (additionally performing some formation flypasts with its legacy counterpart). The Czech Let firm additionally displayed its L 410 NG prototype.

Czech L-39NG

Poland acted as a Particular Accomplice Nation this 12 months. The Polish participation within the air shows was restricted to the F-16 Tiger Demo Staff, W-3 Sokół helo demonstration, paradrop, and, notably, presence of the FA-50 jets within the static show. The FA-50s are nonetheless an unique sight in  Europe, however with Poland procuring these we might anticipate a broader presence of this jet within the European Air Present enviornment.

Polish Air Drive’s FA-50 arriving for static.

Apparently, the Polish FA-50 arriving for static was nonetheless being flown by a Korean pilot. That is most likely attributable to the truth that the Polish pilots are nonetheless receiving coaching on the mentioned platform. The Polish participation within the present additionally included the GA Żelazny aerobatic workforce, and a show by the Orlik Staff, flying the PZL-130 Orliks. Staying as regards to turboprop trainers, the Swiss PC-7 Staff was the one different aerobatic workforce performing over Mosnov this 12 months. Notably, PC-9 from Slovenia and Greek Daedalus T-6A Texan II demos had been additionally carried out in Ostrava.

Orlik Staff performing a mirror.

The air shows additionally included German NH90 and A400M dynamic demos. A400M with a particular paint scheme commemorating this 12 months’s Air Defender train. The Italian Air Drive, in the meantime, introduced its Twister to Ostrava, for the static show.

Spectacular flares present by German Military’s NH90.

Different quick jet shows included two Eurofighter acts, one by the Spanish Air Drive, and one by RAF Hurricane. Sadly, the Blackjack particular paint scheme jet solely flew throughout the rehearsals and never throughout the weekend.

Spanish Hurricane throughout its show.

Total we extremely suggest the Ostrava occasion because the closure of the European Air Present calendar (when talking of typical air exhibits, as a result of Axalp Fliegerschiessen might actually be considered because the European closing act of the air present season).

Polish Air Drive’s F-16 Tiger Demo Staff.

Standing contributor for TheAviationist. Aviation photojournalist. Co-Founding father of Skilled in linguistics, Chilly Conflict discourse, Chilly Conflict historical past and coverage and media communications.


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