The Swedish Armed Forces will NOT send one of their eight C-130s (TP 84) to the UN peacekeeping force in Mali, defence minister Karin Enström confirmed. A recent assessment of the area showed a lot of possible landing spots in the north of the country are unfit for the Hercules aircraft.
The move is remarkable since the Flygvapnet and 70 support personnel were already training for the planned deployment from October 1 this year, as reported by AIRheads↑Fly on September 3rd.
Sweden now considers sending an aircraft to Uganda for humanitarian operations instead, but a go-ahead is highly uncertain.
The Swedish move might also have an impact on other countries scouting Mali for a possible air detachment, like the Dutch armed forces who have sent a small team to assess the situation. The Dutch consider anything from C-130s to helicopters, but with long supply lines and questionable local support possibilities and facilities any Royal Netherlands Air Force contribution is highly uncertain as well.
© 2013 AIRheads’ Marcel Burger