Norway Stations F-35s at a Mountain Air Station

Norway Stations F-35s at a Mountain Air Station

Norwegian Air Force reactivated an abandoned mountain air station 40 years after to station F-35s. As a lesson learned from the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian war, the Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF), which has the valuable asset of the F-35A stealth fighter jet, immediately took preventive steps, namely by reactivating the air station in the Bardufoss Mountains area in Malsev after 40 years of abandonment. 

The bunker protects the F-35 fifth-generation fighter jets from drone attacks. The ongoing Russian-Ukrainian war has proven that fighter jets and bombers stationed at bases that are not protected by shelters or hangars are very vulnerable to becoming easy targets for drones. Russia, for example, lost its most advanced Su-57 fighter jet and Tu-22M3 bomber parked at an open-air base due to a Ukrainian drone attack. Likewise, Ukraine’s Su-25 and MiG-29 jets were targeted by Russian suicide drones. From the photos shared by RNoAF, two F-35 aircraft were there. This facility has just been re-opened for use by the RNoAF, which can accommodate up to 52 F-35s belonging to the country.

The bunker facility in the Bardufoss Mountains was built in 1959 as a shelter from Soviet atomic bombs that could be fired at the air base in a war situation. This is part of the RNoAF’s plans to deploy its important air fleet to several installations in the Nordic countries and protect them from unwanted attacks. 

Similar to this, the Swiss Air Force recently performed the “Alpha Uno” exercise, in which F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets landed and took off from a highway.