- The four Nordic countries have agreed to operate their approximately 250 fighter jets in a single fleet.
- Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark have modern air forces which include F-35s.
- They joined forces in the hope of deterring Russia.
The air forces of four Nordic countries have agreed to operate their fleets of around 250 fighter jets as a combined force, hoping to deter Russia by working together.
The air force commanders of Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark said on Friday they had signed a letter of intent to establish a unified Nordic air defence, Reuters reported.
“The ultimate goal is to be able to operate seamlessly as one force by developing a Nordic concept of joint air operations based on the already known NATO methodology,” the Danish air force said in a statement. release, according to Bloomberg.
“Our combined fleet can be compared to a large European country,” Danish Air Force Commander Major General Jan Dam told Reuters.
Dam said the move was a response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year. The invasion also prompted Sweden and Finland to seek membership in NATO, an alliance that already includes Denmark and Norway.
The joint force will be a source of concern for Russia, which has a significant number of high-level combat aircraft.
Norway, Denmark and Finland have all committed to F-35 jets which are the most advanced Western fighter jets. Norway already operates a few, while Finland and Denmark are expected to receive them in the coming years.
Sweden has its own model of fighter aircraft, the Gripen C and D, with modernized Gripen E aircraft on order.
NATO Air Command Chief General James Hecker was also present when the letter was signed at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.
Sweden and Finland applied to join NATO in May 2022, rocked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to end decades of their “non-alignment” stance.
Their demands have been blocked by Turkey and Hungary, which have yet to ratify memberships.
One of the many reasons given by Russian President Vladimir Putin to justify his invasion of Ukraine is NATO enlargement since the Cold War.
However, Russia’s war in Ukraine led to further expansion of the alliance and increased cooperation and defense spending by its members.