Hungarian Gripen fighter planes were scrambled twice on Friday to investigate suspicious radar contacts but found no trace of any flying objects, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó has said.
The Hungarian Armed Forces detected an object flying over Hungarian airspace from the direction of Ukraine in the early hours of Friday, which later turned out to be a drone that crashed in Zagreb, the foreign ministry cited Szijjártó as saying.
Multiple NATO member states, including Hungary, Romania and Croatia were affected by the incident, Szijjártó said, adding that the authorities were investigating it in cooperation with Hungary’s allies.
Around noon on Friday, Hungary’s air force detected radar signals in the northeast that were similar to the ones seen during the night, Szijjártó said.
Gripen fighters were scrambled from the base in Kecskemét, in central Hungary, to inspect the area where the object was detected but found no sign of any flying objects, he said.
The fighters were scrambled again to investigate another radar signal in the afternoon but again found no aircraft, the minister said.
Szijjártó said he had informed his Romanian, Croatian and Slovenian counterparts of the radar contacts.
“Because there is a war going on in our neighbourhood, it is extremely important for the armed forces and the air force to take a calm and measured approach at all times,” Szijjártó said. “It was no different this time and would be no different in the coming period.”
“We must protect Hungary and the security of the Hungarian people and guarantee that Hungary does not get dragged into the war in our neighbouring country in any way,” he added.