Air Defense: Eastern Europe Is Covered

November 7, 2008: For the last ten years, Western firms have been installing modern air defense communications systems all over Eastern Europe (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Bulgaria and Romania.) In addition, dozens of new Western surveillance radars have been installed as well. The communications systems enable air defense commanders to see a complete picture of what all the radars military (and many civilian) surveillance radars can see. These systems also provide voice and data links, as well as integrating air defenses (both ground based and aircraft.) For the new NATO members in Eastern Europe, these systems also enable them to plug into the NATO air defense system.

This sort of thing doesn't get much publicity, but it is very important in terms of safe air travel (especially when military aircraft are training) and in keeping track of intruders. The Western systems are much superior to the stuff the Russians developed during the Cold War. This was made clear in 1987, when a German teenager flew a single engine civilian aircraft through Russia and landed in Red Square in Moscow. Several Russian generals and defense officials were fired, but the damage was already done to the reputation of Russian air defenses.

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