Denmark, Sweden Conduct First Joint Air Combat Drills as NATO Members

The Danish and Swedish Air Forces have conducted their first aerial combat training drills together as NATO allies in and around Danish airspace.

Denmark’s F-35 Lightning II and Sweden’s JAS-39 Gripen fighter jets took part in the exercise, which consisted of one-to-one fighter maneuvers and coordinated flying.

The F-35s flew from Fighter Wing Skrydstrup air base in Southern Jutland, while the JAS-39s began the drills from Blekinge Wing at Ronneby, near Karlskrona in southern Sweden.

NATO described the drills as the beginning of increased cooperation between the countries’ air forces, underlining the importance of integrating fifth-generation fighters in allied activities.

Maneuvers With Allies

The two fleets conducted basic fighter maneuvers (BFM) side-by-side to learn how differently the planes fly.

“Most often we fly BFM against our fellow F-35 pilots. The Gripen and Swedish pilots fly differently, so a 1 versus 1 match against them is a professional challenge. We get to test elements of our own tactics that we don’t normally do,” Danish F-35 pilot TRI said.

Swedish Air Force 172nd Fighter Squadron Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Erik Almquist explained that a significant hurdle tackled during the drills was how both parties use their radio systems for communications.

“The biggest challenge has been whether to speak English or Danish/Swedish on the phone during briefing and debriefing,” he added.

Almquist concluded that the fleets’ cooperation and proximity to the divisions at Skrydstrup were solid foundations for a unified “Nordic Air Force.”

Related Articles

Back to top button