Four Nordic countries have agreed to create a unified air defence system to deter and defend against the rising threat from Russia. Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark have signed a letter of intent to integrate their air forces and operate jointly based on NATO standards.
The four countries have a total of more than 300 fighter jets, including F-16s, F-35s, F/A-18 Hornets and Gripens. They also plan to share radar data and airspace surveillance to enhance their situational awareness and coordination.
The letter of intent was signed at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany last week, in the presence of NATO Air Command chief General James Hecker, who also oversees the US Air Force in the region. Hecker welcomed the Nordic initiative as a “significant contribution” to regional security and stability.
Sweden and Finland, which are not NATO members but applied to join the alliance last year, hope that the joint air defence will boost their chances of membership. However, their applications have been stalled by Turkey and Hungary, which have yet to ratify them.