The air force commands of Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark signed a letter of intent to deploy the unified Nordic air defense.
The initiative is a response to the growing threat from Russia, which just over a year ago invaded Ukraine, ending a period in which Europe had not experienced war since the 1940s.
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Major General Juha-Pekka Keränen (Finland), Major General Jonas Wikman (Sweden), Major General Rolf Folland (Norway) and Major General Jan Dam (Denmark) signed the declaration on 16 March at Ramstein Air Base , in Germany.
Denmark and Norway are already part of NATO while Sweden and Finland have applied to join the military alliance in 2022 after years of neutrality.
The Nordic defense force should follow a scheme similar to that adopted by NATO, in which integrated management and joint air operations planning are carried out.
F-35, F-16, F/A-18 and Gripen
“Our combined fleet can be compared to a large European country,” Major General Jan Dam told Reuters.
In fact, the four countries have around 400 fighters, including F-16, F/A-18, F-35 and Gripen jets, but it is not known how many of them would be deployed for the joint operation.
The announcement was welcomed by other NATO members in the Baltic, such as Estonia, which borders Russia.
“The result will be a more capable and flexible force, which is ready to react to rapid changes in the security environment and is capable of creating operational challenges and problems for the enemy,” said Colonel Janek Lehiste, Chief of Staff of Estonia’s Air Force.