Latvians arrive in the legendary An-2 for the first time

29.04.2022, 07:56

The Latvian Air Force will present for the first time at this year's NATO Days in Ostrava & Czech Air Force Days. The last of the Baltic States, which has not yet participated in the event, will show the iconic An-2 Colt biplane nicknamed Andula.

The Latvians have already participated in the NATO Days in Ostrava & Air Force Days in 2011 in the form of the civilian aerobatic team Baltic Bees with L-39 aircraft. This year, however, the Air Force of this country will present one of its three An-2 aircraft for the first time. They were supposed to arrive at Mosnov Airport in 2019, but its presentation was cancelled.

"The world-famous An-2 has only been seen once before at NATO Days, in the colours of the Estonian Air Force in 2012. Thanks to the premiere participation of the Latvian Air Force, we will be able to see this legendary machine after ten years," says Zbyněk Pavlačík, Chairman of Jagello 2000. "This is an aircraft with a truly wide range of applications. An interesting fact from recent history is that in the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war, remotely piloted An-2s were deployed by Azerbaijan as a decoy in the destruction of Armenian air defences."

The single-engine An-2 biplane is a widely used multi-role aircraft used for military and civilian purposes. Its production began in 1947, continuing into the 21st century. In total, more than 18,000 units have been produced. The Antonov An-2 is used for transport purposes and patrolling in the Latvian Air Force. It has also been deployed by the armed forces of other countries as an airborne aircraft or an improvised bomber.

Similarly to neighbouring Lithuania, Czech soldiers operate in Latvia as part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation's Enhanced Forward Presence mission. Members of the 15th Engineer Regiment are operating under Canadian command, bringing the capabilities of a pontoon platoon to the contingent. The Latvian Air Force also does not have fighter aircraft, and NATO's Baltic Air Policing mission involves the protection of Latvian airspace by allied nations. This task will fall to Czech troops from April to June with JAS-39 Gripen aircraft.

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22nd NATO Days in Ostrava & 13th Czech Air Force Days!

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