RAF begins Arctic Challenge in Sweden

The RAF has joined with eight other countries in Sweden to begin Exercise Arctic Challenge and train together.

Exercise Arctic Challenge is one of Europe’s largest air force exercises with 140 aircraft and 4000 troops supported by NATO assets, coming together from 22 May – 4 June to test their effectiveness in a realistic threat environment. Based at Luleå-Kallax Airport, the RAF is contributing personnel and seven aircraft to the exercise: five Typhoon fast-jets, one Hercules tactical transport aircraft and one Voyager transport aircraft.

The nations taking part in the exercise are Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. During the exercise up to 100 aircraft will fly each day over the northern Swedish, Finnish, and Norwegian airspace.

A variety of aircraft will be used including multi-role fighters, transport and liaison aircraft, aerial refuelling tankers, airborne warning and control system aircraft, and transport and search and rescue helicopters. The aircraft will be supported by NATO-operated airborne warning and control system (AWACS) as well as ground based support units.

Air bases will also include Rovaniemi in Finland and Bodø and Ørland in Norway. The aim of the operation is to allow the different forces to share knowledge and improve their skills in collaboration.

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