Representatives of Croatia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and the United States have signed a “Letter of Intent” to the Multinational Aviation Training Centre, according to a Czech Republic Ministry of Defense statement.
The letter expresses the political will of participating countries to start practical work in forming structures of the Multinational Aviation Training Centre (MATC) for crews of Mi type helicopters. The principle of the MATC is not to build a center at one specific location but to use the best training facilities that exist in participating countries.
The Czech Republic is a lead nation of the MATC project, which was initially agreed by the NATO Summit in Chicago last May. The project is part of the Smart Defence Initiative aiming at international cooperation of allied nations in increasing their defense capabilities, according to the statement.
Talks are underway with Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Turkey on their possible joining the project.
“The MATC is a typical example of sharing capabilities among NATO member countries. The project is currently based on helicopters of the Mi platform, but any enlargement by other countries with different types of helicopters is not ruled out for the future,” said Vlastimil Picek, first deputy minister of defense of the Czech Republic.