A Finnish Air Force F-18C (Image © Dennis Spronk)

More than 1200 sorties during Nordic ‘Red Flag’

The Finnish Air Force contributed with F-18Cs (Image © Dennis Spronk)
The Finnish Air Force contributed with F-18Cs (Image © Dennis Spronk)

A huge military air exercise in the skies of Scandinavia ended on Friday September 27, 2013. During this first ever edition of the Arctic Challenge Exercise (ACE13) about 70 aircraft of five nations flew an impressive number of 1200 sorties, accumulating more than 2,000 flying hours.

The Swedish Armed Forces even published a nice radar image of the angels and bogeys in the air at a certain time in the skies over Northern Scandinavia, with the epicentre of the air war northwest of Vidsel Airbase.

Up to 70 aircraft were in the air at a certain time, flying from Luleå-Kallax in Sweden, Rovaniemi in Finland and the Royal Norwegian Air Force main bases of Bodø and Ørland.

Two of NATO’s native English speaking nations contributed as well, but amazingly the Royal Danish Air Force didn’t participate with any of their F-16s in this somewhat Red Flag-styled Scandinavian exercise.

These are the aircraft, units and nations that did participate:

Operating from Bodø (Norway): 34 aircraft

  • 8 F-15C, USAFE, 493rd FS
  • 10 F-15E, USAFE, 494th FS
  • 8 F-16AM/BM, RNoAF, 132 AW
  • 2 F-18M2, FinAF, OT
  • 6 JAS 39C, SweAF, 212.sqn

Operating from Luleå-Kallax (Sweden): 17 aircraft

  • 8 Typhoon, RAF, 6 Sqn
  • 4 JAS 39C, SweAF, 211.sqn
  • 4 JAS 39C, SweAF, OT/E
  • 1 S 100 (ASC890) AEW&C, SweAF, 71.sqn

Operating from Rovaniemi (Finland): 14 aircraft

  • 8 F-18C/D, FinAF, FS11
  • 6 JAS 39C, SweAF, 171.sqn

Operating from Ørland (Norway): 4 aircraft

  • 2 KC-135, USAFE, 351st ARS
  • 2 E-3A, NATO, AWACS

Some supporting aircraft like the Saab TP 100 of the Swedish Air Force are not included in the sum-up, because they were not part of the air combat training itself.

© 2013 AIRheads’ Marcel Burger with source information Flygvapnet

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