This training exercice rotates every second year between the three northernmost air bases in the Nordic countries, Bodø (Norway), Luleå (Sweden) and Rovaniemi (Finland). It is led this year by the Finnish Air Force that is responsible for planning and direction of the training events.
The Arctic Challenge Exercise provides for a unique opportunity to train the large-scale planning and conducting of air operations in a real-like operating environment that involve a wide range of aircrafts. There are no other places in Western Europe where fighter aircrafts can train over such large areas across borders. The aim is also to train units to plan and conduct complex air operations in close relation to NATO partners.
In addition to the three Nordic nations, aircrafts and military personnel from Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Switzerland, Great Britain, Canada, and the United States will also participate, enhancing their interoperability.
Besides Saab’s Gripen, participating aircrafts include the F-18, F-16, Tornado, and the Mirage 2000.