Tag Archives: Royal Norwegian Air Force

NATO fighters fire from Ørland, Norway

RNoAF F-16AM no. 292 over Langvatnet, North West of Snøhetta (Image © Morten Hanche / Forsvaret)
RNoAF F-16AM no. 292 over Langvatnet, North West of Snøhetta (Image © Morten Hanche / Forsvaret)

NATO fighters continue to execute live fire sorties from Ørland Main Air Station in Norway, well into the next week. F-16s, Tornados and Mirage 2000Ds are all involved, as well as several support aircraft.

The small fighting force of 50 aircraft started exercise Brilliant Arrow 2013 (BAW13) on August 25th, and it will last until September 5th. Apart from the indigenous Norwegian F-16s, France, Germany, Greece, Poland, Portugal, Turkey and the United Kingdom all sent assets to the southern Norwegian airbase close to the city of Trondheim. A Royal Netherlands Air Force KDC-10 operates out of Eindhoven in the Netherlands to refuel aircraft; Dutch F-16s will join in next week.

It is not all blazing afterburners that are visible, since the air fleet includes two AWACS, three transport aircraft, four helicopters and several other flying machines. About 800 personnel are involved. Flying activities are limited to daytime and working days only.

Ørland is normally only home to 338 squadron with roughly half of the RNoAF F-16AM/BM fleet of 50 fighters and one or two Sea King Mk 43s search-and-rescue helicopters from 330 squadron.

Source: Luftforsvaret (Norwegian Air Force)


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See also our Overview: Royal Norwegian Air Force

Norwegian Hercules crash: crew, training and ATC

The latest Royal Norwegian Air Force C-130J Super Hercules that was delivered as attrition to the one lost in Sweden. (Image © Lockheed Martin)
The latest Royal Norwegian Air Force C-130J Super Hercules that was delivered as attrition to the one lost in Sweden. (Image © Lockheed Martin)

UPDATE October 23, 2013: The official release of the report confirmed the conclusions in what already leaked out. Much to blame are the unexperienced air traffic controllers in Kiruna and Stockholm, and the Norwegian Air Force crew training and crew documentation.

The Royal Norwegian Air Force C-130J Hercules crash against Sweden’s highest mountain on March 15th, 2012, was mainly caused by interpretation failures of the instruments on board by the crew, a lack of training or preparation by the Norwegian Air Force and the lack of guidance by Swedish air traffic controllers.

According to Swedish press agency TT these are the main ingredients of a still secret report of the Accident Investigation Committee (Haverikommission), of which details have been leaked on Tuesday August 27th, 2013, and subsequently published by among others the Swedish nationwide newspaper Svenska Dagbladet (SvD).

The aircraft crashed during a NATO-Swedish military exercise in March last year. The Norwegian transport aircraft would make a tactical approach from Evenes, Norway, through the Swedish mountains west of the town of Kiruna, and land at its airport. The flight stopped when the plane violently hit Mount Kebnekaise, with 2,106 meters above sea level the highest peak of Sweden. All 5 crew members on board were killed instantly.

According to the details from the crash investigation report leaked to TT/SvD newspaper the terrain warning instrument was set too low. An error message about the settings was misinterpreted by the crew.

The Norwegian pilots also did not know they flew in so-called uncontrolled airspace, meaning navigation was entirely without air traffic control. According to the leaked details crew, ATC in Kiruna and air operation leaders in Stockholm had not sufficiently communicated with each other.

© 2013 AIRheads’ Marcel Burger

See also our Overview: Royal Norwegian Air Force

Overview: Royal Norwegian Air Force

Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF) (Luftforsvaret) status as of 22 December 2015
(© 2014 Airheadsfly.com, source information: Forsvaret. Featured image: Cool ‘selfie’ from a RNoAF F-16 pilot while flying over Indre-Troms (Image © Forsvarets mediesenter))

>>> Check out our continuing news stream on the Royal Norwegian Air Force

Active number of aircraft: 117

  • 2x Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II multi-role fighter
  • 50x Lockheed Martin F-16AM/BM Fighting Falcon multi-role fighter
  • 4x Lockheed P-3C UIP Orion maritime patrol aircraft
  • 2x Lockheed P-3N Orion maritime patrol aircraft
  • 4x Lockheed C-130J-30 Hercules tactical transport aircraft
  • 2x Dassault DA-20 Jet Falcon electronic warfare aircraft
  • 1x Dassault DA-20 Jet Falcon VIP transport aircraft
  • 18x Bell 412SP utility & transport helicopter
  • 6x NHI NH90 helicopter for coast guard duties and as shipborne anti-submarine / anti-ship and naval support
  • 12x Westland Sea King Mk 43 search-and-rescue helicopter
  • 16x Saab MFI-15 Safari basic training aircraft

Aircraft ordered

  • 20x Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II stealty multi-role fighters. Total requirement 52. First two aircraft delivered in 2015 to Luke AFB, no. 3 and 4 in 2016 and then 6 aircraft every year in the years that follow. F-35s will replace F-16s.
  • 8x NHI NH90 helicopter for coast guard duties and as shipborne anti-submarine / anti-ship and naval support
  • 16x AgustaWestland AW101, first deliveries planned in 2017. Will replace Sea Kings.

Airbases (Flystasjon): 8

Reserve bases and secondary fields: 9

    • Banak Lakselv
      • Sea King Mk 43 (330 skvadron)
    • Andøya/Andenes (133 Luftving)
      • P-3 (333 skvadron)
    • Bardufoss (139 Luftving)
      • Bell 412SP (339 skvadron)
      • Lynx Mk 86 (337 skvadron)
      • MFI-15 Safari (Luftforsvarets flygeskole)
      • NH-90 (operational test & evaluation / 334 skvadron)
    • Bodø (132 Luftving, Huvudflystasjon (Main Air Base))
      • F-16AM/BM Fighting Falcon (331/332 skvadron)
      • Sea King Mk 43 (330 skvadron)
    • Ørland (138 Luftving, Huvudflystasjon (Main Air Base))
      • F-16AM/BM Fighting Falcon (338 skvadron)
      • Sea King Mk 43 (330 skvadron)
    • Gardermoen (135 Luftving)
      • C-130J Hercules (335 skvadron)
      • DA-20 Jet Falcon (717 skvadron)
    • Rygge (under command of 139 Luftving (Bardufoss))
      • Bell 412SP (720 skvadron)
      • Sea King Mk 43 (330 skvadron)
    • Sola (137 Luftving, avd Sola)
      • Sea King Mk 43 (330 skvadron main base)
      • Alert operation base for F-16s
      • NATO tanker aircraft airbase Northern Europe
    • Luke AFB, Arizona, USA (F-35 training unit)
      • F-35A (2 aircraft in 2015, 4 in 2016, 7 aircraft in 2017/2018)

    >>> Check out our continuing news stream on the Royal Norwegian Air Force

    Shooting Range (aka very nice shots)

    A 4-pack formation of RNoAF F-16 fighters in a narrow fjord during Cold Response 2014 (Image © Torbjørn Kjosvold / Forsvarets mediesenter)
    A 4-pack formation of RNoAF F-16 fighters in a narrow fjord during Cold Response 2014 (Image © Torbjørn Kjosvold / Forsvarets mediesenter)

    A RNoAF P-3C Orion from 333 squadron during the DV-day under the winter exercise Cold Response 2012 (Image © Torbjørn Kjosvold / Forsvarets mediesenter)
    A RNoAF P-3C Orion from 333 squadron during the DV-day under the winter exercise Cold Response 2012 (Image © Torbjørn Kjosvold / Forsvarets mediesenter)

    The latest Royal Norwegian Air Force C-130J Super Hercules that was delivered as attrition to the one lossed in Sweden. (Image © Lockheed Martin)
    The latest Royal Norwegian Air Force C-130J Super Hercules that was delivered as attrition to the one lossed in Sweden. (Image © Lockheed Martin)

    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)

    RNoAF Bell 412SP with serial 167 coming in low, sporting Gatling guns on both sides of the aircraft (Image © Torbjørn Kjosvold / Forsvarets mediesenter)
    RNoAF Bell 412SP with serial 167 coming in low, sporting Gatling guns on both sides of the aircraft. (Image © Torbjørn Kjosvold / Forsvarets mediesenter)

    RNoAF/Kystvakt (Coast Guard) NH-90 with tail no. 049 from 139 Luftving during Cold Response 2014 (Image © Torbjørn Kjosvold / Forsvarets mediesenter)
    RNoAF/Kystvakt (Coast Guard) NH-90 with tail no. 049 from 139 Luftving during Cold Response 2014 (Image © Torbjørn Kjosvold / Forsvarets mediesenter)

    A Royal Norwegian Air Force (Luftforsvaret) Westland Sea King (Image © Nils Skipnes / Luftforsvaret / Forsvarets mediesenter)
    A Royal Norwegian Air Force (Luftforsvaret) Westland Sea King (Image © Nils Skipnes / Luftforsvaret / Forsvarets mediesenter)

    The final operational landing of a Norwegian Lynx (Image © Mats Grimsæth / Forsvarets Mediesenter)
    The final operational landing of a Norwegian Lynx, before the type was retired in December 2014 (read story and sea more images here) (Image © Mats Grimsæth / Forsvarets Mediesenter)

    One of the best Tigers ever, if we had our say. Which we have, now. The Northrop F-5A/B Freedom Fighter served within the RNoAF 1966 to 2000. Norway bought 78 single-seaters (A), 14 two-seaters (B) and 16 RF-5A tactical reconnaissance jets (Image © Elmer van Hest)
    One of the best Tigers ever, if we had our say. Which we have, now. The Northrop F-5A/B Freedom Fighter served within the RNoAF 1966 to 2000. Norway bought 78 single-seaters (A), 14 two-seaters (B) and 16 RF-5A tactical reconnaissance jets (Image © Elmer van Hest)

    The first Royal Norwegian Air Force F-35 lands at Luke AFB. (Image © US Air Force / Staff Sgt. Marcy Copeland)
    The first Royal Norwegian Air Force F-35 lands at Luke AFB. (Image © US Air Force / Staff Sgt. Marcy Copeland)

    Norway ‘not amused’ by F-16 pilot cut

    RNoAF F-16AM no. 292 over Langvatnet, North West of Snøhetta (Image © Morten Hanche / Forsvaret)
    RNoAF F-16AM no. 292 over Langvatnet, North West of Snøhetta (Image © Morten Hanche / Forsvaret)

    UPDATE SEPTEMBER 5: In the year 2014 Norway can still count on six F-16 pilot training positions in the USA (Forsvaret). But how it looks in 2015 is still uncertain.

    The Norwegian Armed Forces (Forsvaret) and political parties are ‘not amused’ by a recent American move to cut the number of Norwegian F-16 pilot training positions in the USA from six to only two, reports Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten on July 17th, 2013.

    The US action could be both for financial reasons and to free training spots for Iraqi and Japanese pilots, say sources to the newspaper.

    Norway has committed itself to the F-16 and more or less to its successor the F-35 Lightning II (Joint Strike Fighter). The biggest Norwegian opposition party (conservative Høyre) now wants the government to postpone signing the F-35 main contract or cancel it all together.

    Currently six pilots are doing their lead-in fighter training in the USA on the T-38 Talon. For four of them it is now highly uncertain if they can continue as previously planned on the F-16 Fighting Falcon in Tuscon (Arizona) later this year. It also confronts the Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF) with the possible lack of qualified pilots for the defence of the country.

    © 2013 AIRheads’ editor Marcel Burger

    See also our Overview: Royal Norwegian Air Force