The 70th birthday of the North Atlantic treaty Organisation (NATO) was also celebrated in Ostrava, the Czech Republic, on 21-22 October. The NATO Days in Ostrava 2019 air day and military technology show was opened by the defence ministers of the Visegrád Group (V4) countries.

As Minister of Defence Tibor Benkő emphasised in his speech, we are all experiencing the fact that the military alliance, NATO, is becoming increasingly important to us, and its role is becoming increasingly valuable these days. “New challenges, risks and threats have appeared, as a result of which our security environment has also changed. For this reason, we must establish defence capabilities and military forces that are capable of facing the challenges of the 21st century”, the Minister indicated. “Hungary is also placing heightened emphasis on this branch of the military, as clearly indicated by the recent purchase of 40 aircraft and helicopters for the Hungarian Defence Force”, Mr. Benkő said, referring to the acquisition of Airbus H145M and H225M light and heavy helicopters in 2018. In closing, the Minister wished the implementers and organisers much success, and the event’s visitors and enjoyable day.

The latter was also assured by the various helicopters, fighters, training and transport aircraft on display, which could be freely examined and photographed. The guest of honour of this year’s event was Romania, but as is traditionally the case, the largest “iron eagles” in Ostrava were provided by the U.S. Air Force, including the four-engine C-5M Super Galaxy, heavy transport aircraft, which practical dwarfed the B-52H Stratofortress strategic heavy bomber and the German Air Force’s A400M turboprop transport aircraft.

Hungary was represented by a JAS-39D EBS HU Gripen fighter on static display from the Hungarian Defence Force’s air base in Pápa, while a single-seater JAS-39C held a very successful dynamic presentation. And let’s not forget the Mi-24P combat helicopter that flew over from the MH 86 Helicopter base in Szolnok, which stood out with its dark grey paintwork.

In addition to aircraft, many wheeled and tracked vehicles were also on display, and to the joy of visitors, the majority of whom arrived with children, most of these could be climbed on. The armoured vehicles were a resounding success during the course of several dynamic presentations – literall