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Royal Norwegian Air Force

From Academic Kids

The youngest branch of the Norwegian armed forces (established in 1944), the Royal Norwegian Air Force (or RNoAF) has a peacetime strength of about 7,200 (of which 4,200 are officers and civilians, while 1,500 are conscripts). After a mobilisation, the total force will be around 20,000 soldiers.

The infrastructure of the RNoAF includes seven airbases (Banak, Bardufoss, Bodø, Ørland, Sola, Rygge and Gardemoen), two control and alert stations (Gråkallen and Mågerø) and two training centers (Kjevik and Kuhaugen).

The RNoAF is organized in six Air Wings. These are divided into a total of ten squadrons of planes as well as two anti aircraft battalions. The operational force consists of 57 F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft, six NASAMS (Norwegian Advanced Surface to Air Missile System) batteries, 12 Sea King rescue helicopters, 6 P-3 Orion maritime surveillance aircraft, 6 Hercules transport aircraft, 6 Lynx helicopters, 18 Bell 412SP helicopters, 3 DHC-6 Twin Otter 100/200 light transport, 2 Dassault Falcon 20 EW and 1 Dassault Falcon 20 VIP plane.

The RNoAF will conduct several investments in the coming years. First the European helicopter NH-90 will be added to the fleet. During a five year period the Government will also decide the future of the transport aircraft fleet, and decide which new fighter aircraft to buy in 2010. Concerning the fighter aircraft the main competition is between the European Eurofighter and the American F-35 Joint Strike Fighter with SAAB JAS 39 Gripen and Dassault Rafale still not being ruled out.


History

Military flights started in 1912, the first plane being bought with money donated by the public and piloted by an officer from the submarine Kobben. Up until 1940 most of the aircraft belonging to the Navy and Army air forces were domestic designs or built under license agreements. In the late 30s more modern aircraft was bought from abroad, including 12 Gloster Gladiator fighters from the UK. Considerable orders for aircraft were placed with US companies during the months prior to the invasion of Norway on April 9, 1940.

When war broke out, only a few aircraft had been delivered. The unequal situation led to the rapid defeat of the Norwegian forces, even if Jagervingen (the pursuit wing) defended Fornebu against the attacking German forces with some success - claiming a number of Me110 heavy fighters and a few He111 bombers. After the withdrawal of allied forces, the Norwegian Government gave up fighting in Norway and fled to Great Britain on June 10th 1940.

The Army and Navy air forces established themselves in Britain under the command of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Norwegian air and ground crews operated as part of the British Royal Air Force, in both wholly Norwegian squadrons and also in other squadrons. In particular, Norwegian personnel operated two squadrons of Supermarine Spitfires: RAF No. 331 Squadron and RAF No. 332 Squadron. Both planes and running costs were financed by the exiled Norwegian government.

In the autumn of 1940, a Norwegian training center known as "Little Norway" was established in Toronto, Canada.

Several times Norwegian units achieved a higher kill ratio and higher losses than other units of the RAF. The Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF) was established by a royal decree on November 1, 1944, thereby merging the Army and Navy air forces.

Up until May 8, 1945, 335 persons had lost their lives while taking part in the efforts of the RNoAF.

After the war the Spitfire remained in service with them into the fifties.

In 1947, the Surveillance and Control Division acquired its first radar system, and around the same time the RNoAF got its first jet fighters in the form of De Haviland Vampires.

In 1948 Norway joined NATO, and quite soon received American aircraft through the MAP (Military Aid Program). aka. The Marshall help.

In 1959, the Anti-Aircraft Artillery was integrated into the Royal Norwegian Air Force.

Organisation

Bodø Main Airfield

Ørland Main Airfield

  • 138. Wing
    • Squadron 338 (F-16A MLU, NRF - NATO Reaction Force)
    • SAM Batallion (NASAMS batteries)
    • Mobile Base-set (IRF Support)
  • Squadron 330 (Detachement) (Sea King, Rescue)
  • NATO Airborne Early Warning Force - Forward Operating Location (E-3A Sentry)

Sola Airfield

  • 134. Wing
    • Squadron 334 (NH-90, frigate force)
    • Squadron 330 (command) (Sea King, Rescue)

Bardufoss Airfield

Andøya Airfield

  • 133. Wing
    • Squadron 333 (P-3C, P-3N, ASW/multirole)

Gardermoen Airfield

  • 135. Wing
    • Squadron 335 (C-130H, transport)

Rygge Airfield

  • 137. Wing
    • Squadron 717 (DA-20, EW - Electronic Warfare)
    • Squadron 720 (Bell 412 SP, special forces transport)
  • Squadron 330 (Detachement) (Sea King, Rescue)

See also

List of air forces

Lists of Aircraft | Aircraft manufacturers | Aircraft engines | Aircraft engine manufacturers

Airports | Airlines | Air forces | Aircraft weapons | Missiles | Timeline of aviation

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