Swiss Air Force to participate in international air defence exercise in Sweden

Bern, 25.05.2023 - From 29 May to 10 June, members of the Swiss Air Force will train with up to six F/A-18 fighter jets in Kallax, Sweden. The purpose of the international Arctic Challenge Exercise is to compare and develop one’s own capabilities with other countries and improve interoperability.

During the exercise in Sweden, the Swiss F/A-18 pilots will have the opportunity to broaden their knowledge and increase their proficiency in international air defence as well as practise basic air policing skills such as ultrasound and low-level flying. A total of 60 members of the Swiss Armed Forces will be travelling to Sweden for the exercise – 14 pilots, 26 mechanics, 6 military police personnel, 2 intelligence officers as well 12 support staff.

The exercise is being organised by Sweden, Finland and Norway and will take place at four different airbases across the three countries. The Swiss participants will be stationed at the Kallax military airbase in northern Sweden during the exercise.

The exercise in Scandinavia has taken place every two years since 2003. Formerly known as the Nordic Air Meet, it has been called the Arctic Challenge Exercise since 2013. Thirteen nations with around 150 fighter jets and 2,700 personnel are taking part. The objective is to train joint force operating scenarios, share experiences among the participants and compare capabilities. Switzerland’s participation is based on the 2023 exercise programme for international military training cooperation approved by the Federal Council.

Limited training possibilities in Switzerland

The Swiss Air Force is unable to fully train in Switzerland to international standards. The reasons for this include the scarcity and size of suitable training areas, altitude and speed restrictions, limited flight operating times, limits on the number of aircraft movements at airfields, dense civilian air traffic over Switzerland, high population density and the subsequent consideration for noise pollution.

Address for enquiries

Delphine Schwab-Allemand
Armed Forces Spokesperson
+41 58 463 22 58



General Secretariat DDPS