22:28 GMT +315 October 2019
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    Finnish air force F-18 Hornet aircraft

    Finland to Join 100 Plane NATO Exercises in Northern Scandinavia

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    Sixteen Finnish fighter jets are set to participate in exercises in northern Scandinavia later this month, Finnish media reported Wednesday.

    Finnish Air Force F-18 Hornet fighters are set to participate in an exercise known as Arctic Challenge, a twelve day, nine country exercise involving nearly 100 planes, set to begin May 25, the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE) reported.

    Along with Finland, other countries to participate include the formally non-aligned countries of Sweden and Switzerland, as well as NATO members Norway, the Netherlands, Britain, France, Germany and the United States. Sweden is set to provide 16 Swedish Gripen multirole fighters, Norway 10 F-16s, along with F-16s, Eurofighters, Mirages from among other NATO countries. NATO will also supply AWACS, transports, tankers, and Dassault DA-20 Jet Falcons.

    Most of the operations will take place over Sweden and northern Norway, with planes to practice bombing runs on ground targets, although YLE has noted that Finland will not be participating in these exercises. The exercises will also target simulated airborne targets, anti-air artillery, and practice low-level flying and mid-air refueling.

    On Wednesday, a statement from the Norwegian Armed Forces explained that the exercise's purpose was to "learn to coordinate efforts in complicated flight operations conducted in cooperation with NATO."

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    Tags:
    NATO, military drills, Finnish Air Force, Finland, Norway, Sweden
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