Fighter jets over Lapland skies
Northern Sweden and Finland is the key battleground in Nordic Air Meet (NOAM), one of this year’s biggest air force exercises in Europe.
The exercise, which includes as many as 65 aircrafts from six countries, is hosted by the Norrbotten Wing F-21, the air force base in northern Swedish.
It is the fourth time that the exercise is taking place. It will run between 27 August and 7 September. Sweden has earlier hosted also the NATO-lead Loyal Arrow exercise.
According to the Swedish Air Force, as many as 54 combat aircraft are planned to be in the air at once. Out of these, approximately 20 are Swedish Jas 39 Gripen.
In addition to Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Denmark, the USA and the UK are participating. The Swedish F 21 base in Luleå, Sweden, and the Finnish base in Rovaniemi are two of the four bases used during the training.
According to Yle, a total of eight Finnish Hornet fighters will participate.
With the number of aircrafts involved, the exercise the second largest in Europe this year.
The Norrbotten Wing F21 has since early 2002 served the JAS 39 Gripen aircraft. Since 2009 the divisions was re-equipped with the latest version of the JAS 39C Gripen.
The Nordic Air Meet exercise comes as Sweden announces its intent to buy up to 60 new next-generation Jan Gripen jets. Also Switzerland will be part of the deal and acquire a number of the new aircrafts, newspaper Svenska Dagbladet reports.