Tag Archives: Sweden

Swedish police will use military helicopters

Swedish Armed Forces Hkp 16 (Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk) and Hkp 14 (NH-90) tactical transport helicopters during an air assault demonstration at the 2012 Swedish Military Airshow (Försvarsmaktens Huvudflygdag) at F3 Malmslätt, Linköping. (Image © Marcel Burger)
Swedish Armed Forces Hkp 16 (Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk) and Hkp 14 (NH-90) tactical transport helicopters during an air assault demonstration at the 2012 Swedish Military Airshow (Försvarsmaktens Huvudflygdag) at F3 Malmslätt, Linköping. (Image © Marcel Burger)

The Swedish police will start using the country’s military medium-lift helicopters for SWAT insertion. The additional task for the Armed Forces Helicopter Command (Försvarsmaktens Helikopterflottiljen) comes directly from the national government in Stockholm.

The decision was made after evaluation of the country’s anti-terror readiness and implements lessons learned from the terror attacks/mass murder in neighbouring Norway on July 22nd, 2011. As a sort of kick-off the ministers of Justice and Defence together visited the Helikopterflottiljen at Linköping the past week.

From January 2014 the Armed Forces Hkp 15 (NHI NH90) and Hkp 16 (Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk) will be available at request of the police authorities. Yet unclear, but likely is that the helicopter force will be spread out across the country somewhat.

For an effective co-operation between the military helicopter crew and civilian police it is possible that one or two NH90s or Black Hawks will be based at the airports of Stockholm-Arlanda, Göteborg-Säve, Malmö-Sturup and Östersund. They will then join the police’s own Eurocopter EC135s at these locations. In the far north of the country the military helicopters might stay at the airbase section of Luleå-Kallax, with the police EC135 unit at nearby Boden. Stockholm-Bromma is considered a good alternative base in the capital area.

The Swedish police currently is being reorganised, but with only 5 EC135s at their disposal the air support is very much limited. There is already some co-operation between the Swedish military and civilian police, but since the end of the Cold War that has been very limited.

Swedish defence minister Karin Enström, however, did highlight recent events when visiting the Helicopter Command at F3 Malmslätt in Linköping. ,,When US president Obama visited Sweden recently, two Black Hawks were available 24/7 at Bromma airport in Stockholm. The improved involvement will give more clearness to both police and the Armed Forces.”

Armed response to anything happening in the Swedish society is first of all a task for the country’s police, writes a press spokesperson of the Helikopterflottiljen. ,,The military helicopter’s role will be to transport police officers with their equipment and see to it that they will be inserted as close to the response area or an object as possible. The increased support will mean police and military will have to create common routines and joint training possibilities during daytime, later to be extended during nighttime.”

Norway uses military Bell 412s out of Rygge to support the police of the capital of Oslo and it is this co-operation that the Swedish government sees as a good example for the Swedish anti-terror readiness.

© 2013 AIRheads’ Marcel Burger

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Sweden cancels Mali C-130

Swedish Air Force TP 84 with serial 847 at F3 Malmslätt airbase in Linköping. The aircraft normally operates out of F7 Såtenäs. (Image © Marcel Burger)
Swedish Air Force TP 84 with serial 847 at F3 Malmslätt airbase in Linköping. The aircraft normally operates out of F7 Såtenäs. (Image © Marcel Burger)

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

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Sweden prepares C-130 for Mali

Swedish Air Force TP 84 with serial 847 at F3 Malmslätt airbase in Linköping. The aircraft normally operates out of F7 Såtenäs. (Image © Marcel Burger)
Swedish Air Force TP 84 with serial 847 at F3 Malmslätt airbase in Linköping. The aircraft normally operates out of F7 Såtenäs. (Image © Marcel Burger)

UPDATE SEPT 14: Sweden cancels Mali C-130

The Swedish Air Force (Flygvapnet) is preparing one of its eight TP 84 (C-130H) Hercules aircraft for deployment in Mali next month.

The Swedish C-130s are amongst the oldest of the type still in service in Europe, with 32 to 48 years of age. They operate out of F7 Såtenäs base at giant lake Vänern in the southern part of the country. Despite frequent talks about a replacement of the TP 84s, no decision has been made nor does one seem imminent.

The Swedish Armed Forces are, however, one of the largest users of the NATO/EU C-17 strategic transport fleet centrally based at Papa in Hungary to compensate for their lack of long-range air transport capacity.

It’s the decision of the Swedish parliament to send the Flygvapnet C-130 together with 70 personnel to the UN force Minusma, the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali. The Swedish task force is designated FM 01 and will use September to build up its operations just outside the Mali capital of Bamako. Officially the unit will be operational on October 1, serving till Januari 31, 2014.

The Swedish Armed Forces FM 01 will mainly be tasked with transport of materiel and personnel from southern to northern Mali in what officially is called ,,establishment of increased security in the turbulent northern areas”.

A French intervention force pushed back extremist rebels when they started Operation Serval at January 11, 2013. The later joint French-African operations, supported by several EU countries, has now been turned into a United Nations mission.

© 2013 AIRheads’ Marcel Burger

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Swedish naval choppers from Somalia to the vet

The naval version of the Hkp 15 (Agusta A109) utility helicopter of the Swedish Armed Forces (Image © Marcel Burger)
The naval version of the Hkp 15 (Agusta A109) helicopter of the Swedish Armed Forces (Image © Marcel Burger)

The two Swedish Hkp 15 (Agusta A109) naval helicopters deployed off the coast of Somalia have returned home on August 21, 2013, to be checked by an animal expert, according to a press release by the Swedish Armed Forces.

During the last four months the two choppers gave naval vessel HMS Carlskrona necessary support and increased operating range while fighting pirates at sea near the Horn of Africa, part of the international effort called Operation Atalanta.

On August 20, 2013, a Boeing C-17A Globemaster III strategic airlifter took the choppers from Djibouti to F17 Malmslätt at Linköping, home of the Swedish Armed Forces Helicopter Command (Försvarsmaktens Helikopterflottiljen). Upon arrival they will spend 10 days in quarantine, then will receive maintenance and only then will return to active service with 3 Helicopter Squadron at Ronneby in southern Sweden.

,,We want to be sure there are no small harmful things left in for example earth particles on the helicopters”, writes a Försvarsmaktens press spokesperson. ,,Believe it or not, the helicopter will even get a check-up by a veterinarian.”

After the enduring contact with salty water some helicopter parts will be changed, mostly bolts and screws.

HMS Carlskrona will return from Africa the coming weekend. 3 Helicopter Squadron and its naval Hkp15s at Ronneby will next participate in Northern Coasts 2013, a two week exercise at the Baltic Sea in the middle of September.

Source: Försvarsmakten

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Saab started building first Gripen-E

The Saab JAS 39 Gripen E/F demo aircraft at the Swedish military airshow in 2010 at Linköping-Malmen. (Image © Marcel Burger)
The Saab JAS 39 Gripen E/F demo aircraft at the Swedish military airshow in 2010 at Linköping-Malmen. (Image © Marcel Burger)

Saab Defence started the construction of the first Gripen-E multi-role fighter at its plant at Linköping-Saab airfield, Sweden, reports the company.

First to be constructed is the front fuselage of the first pre-production test aircraft 39-8. Following a short period of design using the latest tools and methods, through so called Model Based Design, the construction of the Gripen E begins with the manufacturing and assembly of all parts of the fuselage. That is thee largest and most time consuming part of the airframe. These parts will then be joined together and assembled into a complete airframe. This is followed by an intensive construction period to install cables, mount systems, the outer shell and other equipment.

Based on the design of previous versions of the Gripen fighter aircraft, the Gripen-E offers a next generation sensor suite, new communication links, a new avionics architecture, more thrust, increased flight time, more weapon stations and load capability, a fully digital cockpit and a brand new electronic warfare system.

The test aircraft 39-8 will be the first complete pre-production version of the Gripen-E and will be used to demonstrate new features and capabilites. The technological leaps in the Gripen-E have been proven in the Gripen demonstrator programme with the Gripen E/F demo aircraft that has flown over 250 hours in countries such as Sweden, the UK, India and Switzerland since 2008.

On February 15, Saab signed an agreement with the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) regarding development and modification of 60 Gripen-E for Sweden during the period 2013-2026 as well as a possible order for new production of Gripen E for Switzerland. More than 1,000 people at Saab are now working solely with the development and production of the Gripen-E.

Source: Saab Group

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