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RAF and Royal Norwegian Air Force Agree New Integration

The Chief of the Royal Norwegian Air Force has visited the UK to learn more about RAF capabilities and agree steps for closer cooperation.  

The visit was hosted by the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston, and focused on the roles of the two air forces as part of NATO and the UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force to maintain safety and security in northern Europe.   

Image shows RAF personnel standing by crates of equipment and a RAF Lightning aircraft.

The two Chiefs visited RAF Marham where Chief of the Royal Norwegian Air Force, Major General Rolf Folland, learnt more about the RAF’s F-35B Lightning II capabilities, maintenance, and training. The visit also provided an opportunity to explore ways in which the two nations’ Lightning II forces could collaborate more.  

Image shows RAF personnel inside a hangar walking past a Typhoon.

The Royal Norwegian Air Force are part of the Lightning II community and fly the F-35A variant. They are developing the aircraft’s operational capabilities and plan to operate a fleet of 52 aircraft. The F-35A Lightning II has already taken over the Quick Reaction Alert role in Norway.  

The two Chiefs spent time exchanging ideas on how to exploit maritime capabilities, particularly the P8 Poseidon which both air forces operate. They also discussed international agreements, methods of sharing intelligence and reciprocal exchange posts to enhance understanding and integration.  

Image shows personnel discussing inside a hangar wearing hard hats;

The Royal Air Force and Royal Norwegian Air Force share a rich history and it was a pleasure to welcome my counterpart back to the UK this week. We explored what more we could do in NATO and as Joint Expeditionary Force partners ready to defend our collective security, working ever closer together across the North Atlantic, Northern Europe and the Arctic Region.

Air Chief Marshal Wigston
Chief of the Air Staff

The RAF, alongside the Royal Navy and British Army, already conduct regular training with the Norwegian Armed Forces in Norway on various bilateral and multinational exercises. Last week an Atlas (A400M) aircraft transported UK Armed Forces personnel and equipment to Norway for two forthcoming exercises.  

Image shows RAF Atlas on a snowy airfield.

The UK will support Exercise Joint Viking in March 2023, which is a winter military exercise held in Norway every second year. Its main purpose is to train the Norwegian Armed Forces in their main task: defending Norway.