Skip to content

Finnish Air Force to take part in Aurora 23 in Sweden

Air Force
Publication date 20.4.2023 14.31
Press release
Two Finnish F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets and three Swedish Gripen fighter jets fly in formation above clouds
Photo: Swedish Air Force

The Finnish Air Force will deploy F/A-18 Hornet multi-role fighters and Hawk jet trainers to the Swedish Defence Forces’ Aurora 23 exercise on 2‒10 May 2023.

Aurora 23 is the Swedish Defence Forces’ main military exercise in 2023. In total, the exercise will involve approximately 26,000 personnel from 14 different countries. The Finnish Air Force’s participation in the exercise will develop interoperability and deepen cooperation with Sweden and other international partners. The exercise will include the training of planning and executing multinational air operations, base operations, as well as control and reporting centre functions.

The Finnish Air Force will participate in Aurora 23 with six F/A-18 Hornet fighters, six Hawk jet trainers as well as transport and liaison aircraft. In total, around 100 personnel will take part in the exercise. The Finnish F/A-18 Hornet detachment will be based at Såtenäs Air Base. Detachment commander will be Lieutenant Colonel Eetu Rikkinen from Karelia Air Command.

‒ In the exercise, we will operate as a part of the Swedish air defense in various air operations. In addition, the exercise will provide us with an opportunity to train receiving Host Nation Support and integrating into the functions of a Swedish air base, says Lieutenant Colonel Rikkinen.

‒ In other words, we will be able to develop interoperability with the Swedish Air Force, which will also support our national defence, he adds.

The Finnish F/A-18 Hornets will operate as a part of the Swedish air defence and their main operating base will be Såtenäs. For the Hawk jet trainers simulating the adversary, the main base will be Visby. The air activity of the exercise will take place mainly in southern parts of Sweden and over the Baltic Sea.

The exercise will involve fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters also from other participating countries. In addition to Sweden and Finland, aircraft from the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Poland and Portugal will take part in the air activity of the exercise.

The Finnish Air Force’s participation in the Aurora 23 exercise is a part of the FISE defence cooperation between Finland and Sweden. In addition, it is a part of the 2023 international training and exercise activity approved by the Ministry of Defence. The Finnish and Swedish air forces have participated each other’s national main exercises since 2016.

Read more about the Finnish Defence Force's participation in the Aurora 23 exercise