A Royal Norwegian Air Force Dassault DA-20 Falcon in flight (Image © Torbjørn Kjosvold / Forsvarets Mediecenter)

Norway concentrates Falcon jets with airlift

A Royal Norwegian Air Force Dassault DA-20 Falcon in flight (Image © Torbjørn Kjosvold / Forsvarets Mediecenter)
A Royal Norwegian Air Force Dassault DA-20 Falcon in flight (Image © Torbjørn Kjosvold / Forsvarets Mediecenter)

The Royal Norwegian Air Force has started concentrating its small fleet of three Dassault DA-20 Falcon electronic warfare aircraft with its small airlift fleet of four C-130J Hercules aircraft on the military part of the main international airport of the country: Oslo-Gardermoen.

Friday 4 July 2014, the first DA-20 permanently moved to its new homebase from Rygge. The other two jets and the rest of the 35 staff members of 717 Squadron will in the course of this summer, with full operational capability at Gardermoen from 1 August. The move – part of a reorganisation – will even bring the Hercs and the Falcons together in the same command structure of 135 Luftving (135 Air Wing). For the Falcons it is a sort of homecoming, as the unit left Gardermoen in 19995 for Rygge. Even some of the aviators remember this well, some have been piloting the E-warfare VIP jet since at least 1988.

On the new location technicians from both the Falcon’s 717 squadron as well as the Hercules’s 335 squadron will cross-work on both airplanes, is the plan. The national reaction force and the base defence technical school will have left for Ørland this July. In 2020 the Norwegian air defence leadership will change Rygge for Reitan near Bodø. Current 137 Luftving (137 Air Wing) and its 720 Skvadron at Rygge will be decommissioned, with the Bell 412 choppers moving to Bardufoss airbase where modernisation works are underway, or will be soon.

At Rygge only a detachment of the search-and-rescue 330 Skvadron will remain, with its current Sea King being replaced by the AgustaWestland AW101 in the coming years.

Source: Forsvaret

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