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Norway reactivates mountain base for F-35A ACE operations

A pair of RoNAF F-35As sit parked in the mountain aircraft shelter at Bardufoss Air Station in the far north of Norway. (Royal Norwegian Air Force)

Norway has reactivated a mothballed mountain base as it looks to further develop the Agile Combat Employment (ACE) operating concept for its Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) force.

NATO Allied Air Command (AIRCOM) announced the move on 20 June, saying that the Royal Norwegian Air Force (RoNAF) had recently operated F-35As out of Bardufoss Air Station in the far north of the country, 40 years after the facility had been deactivated.

β€œAir forces must be able to disperse combat aircraft and operate out of several other airports and air stations, both in Norway and the Nordic countries, if a crisis so requires,” AIRCOM said. β€œThe natural features of Bardufoss Air Station provide excellent protection for combat aircraft. The mountain hangar has received structural and equipment upgrades to increase its use for air operations. In the long term, this may lead to increased national and allied fighter aircraft activity in the region of Northern Norway around the air station.” Having opened in 1938, Bardufoss Air Station is Norway's oldest operating air station and comes under the RoNAF's 131 Air Wing.

According to Janes World Air Forces

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