Cooperation of Air Forces
Baltic Air Surveillance Network — BALTNET
On 16 April 1998, an agreement among the Baltic States on establishment of the Baltic Airspace Surveillance System, BALTNET, was concluded. The aim of the project is to create a single air surveillance system of the Baltic States with a joint communication system and inclusion in NATINADS — NATO Integrated Air Defence System. On 2 March 2007, government representatives of the Baltic States signed a new BALTNET agreement that significantly changed the meaning of the BALTNET. The Regional Airspace Surveillance Coordination Centre was modified to be the Combined Control and Reporting Centre “Karmelava”.
Current BALTNET functions: surveillance of and patrolling over the air space of the Baltic States, provision of safe information transfer from national centres to the Combined Control and Reporting Centre “Karmelava”, conduct and control of air operations, organisation of fighter jets’ control, as well as provision of personnel training.
For the centre to work successfully, each Baltic State delegates its personnel to the Combined Control and Reporting Centre “Karmelava”. The commander of BALTNET is replaced every three years and, according to rotation principle, the position is taken by a representative of air forces of the national armed forces of the Baltic States. As of summer 2013, the position is taken by a representative of Lithuania. As of middle of 2016, the position will be taken by a representative of Latvia.
Baltic Air Policing Host Nation Support — BAP HNS
The Baltic States jointly fund the mission costs and ensure support to the host nation’s units that are patrolling over the Baltic States.
Starting from 2014, the NATO Air Policing Mission in the Baltic States is implemented not only from Zokniai airbase in Lithuania but also from Ämari airbase in Estonia since, due to the military and political situation, the air patrolling mission was expanded by additional rotations known as Enhanced NATO Air Policing Mission in the Baltic States.
Taking into account the fact that the Baltic States have agreed to grant additional funding to support the mission and ensure support measures to the host nation, they have jointly increased the payment from 5 million euro to 10 (a share of Latvia is 3.4 million per year).
An issue on establishment of a joint air defence system of the BS is currently topical.