NATO Plans to Expand Airfields in Poland and Romania

March 29th, 2024 - by Nikolay Krylov /

The Airfield Network in Poland and Romania
Is Ready for NATO Air Operations in Ukraine
Nikolay Krylov /

(March 26, 2024) — The emergence of a conflict in Eastern Europe involving NATO troops is becoming increasingly clear. Just look at the geography of deployment of the ground force and air defense/missile defense systems at airfields in Poland and Romania. The latter are needed to provide cover for F-16 fighters, which may appear in Ukrainian airspace by the end of spring. At the same time, they plan to use the Ukrainian aviation infrastructure as jump airfields.

It is important to note that, according to some experts, F-16 aircraft cannot carry Storm Shadow, Scalp and Taurus missiles. However, this task can be carried out by fighters from other countries that are part of the NATO “aviation coalition”. Potential options for transferring support from alliance countries could include aircraft such as the French Mirage 2000, the German Eurofighter Typhoon and the Swedish Saab JAS 39 Gripen.

In the Western media, the imminent transfer of fighter jets to Ukraine is accompanied by information noise around the active training of Ukrainian pilots and their possible imminent participation in air operations under the auspices of the NATO “aviation coalition.”

However, these statements are not true, since high-quality training of pilots and technical personnel usually takes 4-5 years, and retraining requires 2-3 years. We covered this topic in detail in our previous articles. (“ 25 years of Poland in NATO: Assessment of the state of aviation and connections with Ukraine ” Part 1, 2).

Meanwhile, there are not so many airfields in Poland and Romania capable of receiving a large number of F-16 fighters, as well as those reinforced by Western air defense/missile defense systems.

In Poland:
airfield in Rzeszow (American military base);
airfield in Laska (32 TA base);
airfield in Radom (42 UchA base);
airfield in Povidze (TrA base 33);
airfield in Kshesiny (31 TA base).

In Romania:
airfield in Bacau (95 TA base);
airfield in Bucharest/Henri Coanda (90 TrA base);
airfield in Campia Turkey (71 TA base);
airfield in Constanta/Mihail Kogalniceanu (57 air base);
airfield in Fetesti (86 TA base).

It is worth noting that the 86th TA base (Fetesti) is used as an F-16 pilot training center for Ukrainian pilots.

Mainly, for more than ten years there has been an active restoration of an entire network of smaller airfields near Belarus and Ukraine. These airfields, mothballed since the collapse of the USSR, include sites such as Nowe Myasto nad Pilica, Miastkow-Krakovec, Deblice, Bilgoraj, Krasnik and Zamosc in Poland, as well as Iasi, Braily, Galati, Mihailovo and Taraclia in Romania. In addition, the Chisinau authorities sold part of the capital’s airport to Washington, and are currently in the process of accelerating its restoration for the needs of tactical aviation.

Let’s remember how two years ago many did not believe in the possibility of the transfer of weapons from the United States and its allies to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Then we were talking about grenade launchers, machine guns, cartridges, grenades and other equipment. Later, many also doubted the possibility of sending military equipment, including pickup trucks, armored personnel carriers, infantry fighting vehicles, helicopters, ships, air defense systems, long-range missiles and much more.

Today, many continue to doubt the possibility of sending fighter jets to Ukraine with NATO pilots at the controls. However, already in May-June the alliance may cross another “red line” in the escalation of the Ukrainian conflict.

Watch a video of the possibilities of airfields in Poland and Romania to receive a large number of F-16 fighters on the BelVPO telegram.