Finland, Norway and Sweden to conduct multinational training exercise Arctic Challenge


The air forces of Finland, Norway and Sweden will jointly conduct the multinational training exercise, Arctic Challenge, in the airspace over the northern areas of the host countries.

The current iteration of the exercise, which will be led by the Finnish Air Force, aims at providing an opportunity to train the large-scale planning and conducting of air operations in a real-life operating environment that involves a wide range of aircraft and modern air warfare forces.

To be conducted as a live air exercise, Arctic Challenge will involve more than 100 aircraft from 12 nations which include multi-role fighters, transport and liaison aircraft, aerial refuelling tankers, airborne warning and control system aircraft, and transport and search-and-rescue helicopters.

In addition to the three host nations, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the US will participate in the exercise that will begin on 22 May and conclude on 2 June this year.

The participating nations will be supported by Nato-operated airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft and also by ground crew and ground-based air defence units.

"Arctic Challenge will involve more than 100 aircraft from 12 nations which include multi-role fighters, transport and liaison aircraft, aerial refuelling tankers, airborne warning and control system aircraft, and transport and search-and-rescue helicopters."

During the exercise, forces will fly aircraft at low-altitudes and conduct supersonic flying.

The Arctic Challenge exercises are conducted as part of Cross Border Training (CBT) started in 2009 between Finland, Norway and Sweden, the Finnish Air Force stated.

The Finnish Defence Forces Army North 17 exercise is being conducted at the same time.


Image:  Aircraft flying over mountains. Photo: courtesy of Finnish Air Force.