Estonian Minister of Defense, Mr. Jüri Luik, states that the opening of a new Air Operations Center will develop the Baltic region's defense capabilities in many ways. "As of today, all three Baltic states have the opportunity to control their own and regional airspace. It is important to emphasize that the new center will help us integrate NATO missile and air defense systems into NATO's responsibility, " Luik said during during the inauguration.
Today I can say for sure that we are experts in the field of air surveillance
Colonel Rauno Srik, Estonian Air Chief, thanked all the people and organisations who contributed to the establishment of the Control and Reporting Center. "We have come a long way in a short time. It has been a very difficult but extremely necessary journey. Today I can say for sure that we are experts in the field of air surveillance" he states.
Until the end of 2019 Baltic airspace surveillance had been conducted from only one single Control and Reporting Centre at Karmėlava, Lithuania which was jointly manned by Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian controllers. The new architecture's triple redundancy ensures a back-up capability which enables BALTNET to sustain during in case of a crisis or conflict. Quick Reaction Alert Interceptor aircraft involved in NATO's Baltic Air Policing mission will now be controlled by all three units on a rotational basis. The BALTNET cooperation project was initiated in the year 2000. It is a system for acquisition, coordination, distribution and display of air surveillance data within the three Baltic states.
Jüri Luik, Estonian Minister of Defence, and Colonel Rauno Srik, Chief of the Estonian Air Force, cutting the ribben at the inauguration ceeremony.
Photo courtesy of Estonian Air Force
The crest of the new Control and Reporting Centre at Tallinn, Estonia.
Photo courtesy of Estonian Air Force.