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Norway Reactivates Mountain Air Station After 40 Years of Disuse

Amid escalating tensions in Europe due to the Russia-Ukraine war, Norway has reactivated its air station in the mountainous region of Bardufoss in Malsey after 40 years of dormancy.

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) — Amid escalating tensions in Europe due to the Russia-Ukraine war, Norway has reactivated its air station in the mountainous region of Bardufoss in Malsey after 40 years of dormancy.

Named Bardufoss Air Station, this facility includes hangars and other amenities nestled inside the mountains.

Recently, Norwegian authorities released images of the country’s F-35 fighter jets stationed at Bardufoss Air Station within this mountainous area.

The photos show two Norwegian Air Force F-35s inside the mountain air station.

 Overall, the Norwegian Air Force possesses 52 fifth-generation F-35 fighter jets developed by Lockheed Martin from the United States, all of which are reportedly deployable at Bardufoss Air Station in the mountains.

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Norwegian F-35 inside the Bardufoss Mountain Air Station.

 

Reactivated in 1938, this air station now houses Norway’s F-35 fighters, providing protection from aerial threats, including enemy fighter jets and drones.

 In conflict, this setup ensures the safety and operational readiness of the fighter jets from any air station.

Within NATO, this strategy is known as Agile Combat Employment (ACE), a concept that has regained interest due to the potential return to high-intensity warfare in the region.

 During conflicts, dispersed and varied air station locations complicate enemy targeting by multiplying operational sites using civilian airfields or improvised road bases.

Lessons from the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict show how openly stationed aircraft on tarmacs or in open hangars have been easily destroyed by guided missile attacks or kamikaze drones.

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It has been recently reported about the Russian Su-57 Felon jet targeted by Ukrainian UAVs at Akhtubinsk airfield in Astrakhan Oblast, some 600 kilometers from the border.

Footage has also emerged of the destruction of a Ukrainian Su-25 Frogfoot at the Dolgintsevo airfield in the Dnepropetrovsk region with Lancet loitering ammunition.

Unwilling to risk such destruction of its F-35s, Norway decided to activate its mountain air station to safeguard its fighter jets.
Brigadier General Tron Strand of the Norwegian Forces was quoted as saying that Bardufoss Air Station is used not only by Norwegian fighter jets but also by those of allied nations.
“Bardufoss Air Station plays a crucial role in the development of air power for Norway and its allies,” he said.

 As one of NATO’s earliest members, the Bardufoss facility is poised to host NATO fighter jets in any potential conflict with Russia. Russia

Bardufoss Air Station (Norwegian:Bardufoss flystasjon) is located in the municipality of Målselv in Troms county in Northern Norway.

It is the location for the 139th Air Wing and two helicopter squadrons; the 337 Squadron operating Lynx MK 86 for the Norwegian Coast Guard and the 339 Squadron. — DSA

 

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