Nice and quiet inside its hardened aircraft shelter, this Danish F-16AM makes for a nice picture. (Image © Elmer van Hest)

Denmark: “F-16 pilots not ready to bomb ISIS”

Danish F-16 aircraft – or rather their pilots – are not ready to bomb so-called Islamic State forces (Daesh / ISIS / ISIL) in Syria. The fighter jocks need additional training now that Russia has deployed an advanced anti-air missile system in Syria.

“Our F-16 pilots need ‘re-schooling’ and more advanced training before they could be sent into Syrian airspace. The threat against the aircraft is just too big,” Danish defense minister Peter Christensen told journalist of the quality Danish newspaper Politiken.

Denmark may be called upon by France after Paris requested military help from the European Union countries following the terror attacks in the French capital. All EU countries, including Denmark, agreed to come to the rescue under EU rules.

F-16 Detachment in Kuwait

While Royal Air Force Tornado and Typhoon jets recently joined Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16s and the air forces of the United States and France in targeting both ISIS’s economic (oil fields) and military locations, the defence minister in Copenhagen says that Danish pilots are not ready to do a similar job.

S-400 on Khmeymim Airbase

The very advanced S-400 surface-to-air missile system that Russia deployed on/near Khmeymim Airbase near the Syrian city of Latakia after one of its Sukhoi Su-24 was downed by a Turkish F-16. The S-400 missiles are believed to be able to reach targets at more than 110 miles (185 km) with almost 3 times the speed of sound (Mach 2.9).

F-16 Detachment in Kuwait

Denmark withdrew its detachment of seven F-16 jets, based at Ahmed Al Jaber Airbase in Kuwait, this Autumn from Operation Inherent Resolve. The last of 547 missions was flown on 30 September 2015. The Danes retreated because of verworked maintenance crews, untrained pilots (for other missions than air strikes against ISIS) and budgetary constrains. The Royal Danish Air Force F-16s only operated against targets in Iraq.

© 2015 editor Marcel Burger
Featured image: A Danish F-16AM sits nice and quiet inside its hardened aircraft shelter at Skrydstrup airbase. (Image © Elmer van Hest)