The Swedish island of Gotland hosted defence drills as part of exercise BALTOPS 22.

Situated roughly 100 kilometres off the Swedish coast, Gotland has a commanding view of the Baltic Sea, which makes it strategically vital terrain for the Swedish Armed Forces.

“As part of BALTOPS 22, Swedish soldiers practised the rapid reinforcement and defence of the island against a simulated enemy, played this year by the United States Marine Corps’ 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (22nd MEU). Sweden is hosting this year’s exercise, which coincides with the 500th anniversary of the Swedish Navy.

BALTOPS 22 involves forces from 16 countries, with over 45 ships, more than 75 aircraft and 7,500 personnel participating.

The exercise will end on 17 June 2022. The exercise is led by the US Navy’s Sixth Fleet, headquartered in Italy, with Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO), based in Portugal, implementing command and control of the exercise.”

Despite their previously non-aligned status, Swedish troops practised regularly with NATO countries and their governments decided in the wake of the Ukraine war to seek full membership in the Western military alliance.

Recently I reported that Finland and Sweden were training with NATO air defence forces.

Finland and Sweden train with NATO air defence forces

According to a press release from the Alliance, Exercise Ramstein Legacy is Allied Air Command’s principal Integrated Air and Missile Defence (IAMD) exercise taking place across Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

You can read more about this here.

 

George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. He also works for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Farouk
Farouk
6 days ago

I read stories like this and it reminds me that war in the North does not come easy for the invader, be it the invasion of Finland, where the Finns gave a really good account of themselves, the Norweagians (dispite losing) sank the German cruiser Blücher and of course the sinking of HMS Glowworm , which in itself is a tale to tell) and whilst not Scandanavia (as such) the tale of HMS Jervis Bay merits a mention.

Last edited 6 days ago by Farouk
Watcherzero
Watcherzero
6 days ago

Tracked Boxer unveiled at Eurosatory 2022, universal compatibility with the wheeled modules. Thats really got to heap the pressure on the Ajax project now.

Joe16
Joe16
6 days ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

I’d personally wonder whether it has more impact on Warrior than Ajax; Boxer is even larger than Ajax, and it’s a pretty big recce vehicle as it is…

BobA
BobA
6 days ago
Reply to  Joe16

Don’t forget though that Ajax was conceived over the back of a doctrinal change in how recce was going to be done – more overt and less covert. Hence protection and firepower that went into the spec. Sometimes I think we all get bogged down by the thought that recce is sneaky beaky – but if you allow yourself to think about the function ‘FIND’ then actually it’s not always about stealth – Advance to Contact is a FIND operation.

Farouk
Farouk
6 days ago
Reply to  BobA

Bob wrote:

Don’t forget though that Ajax was conceived over the back of a doctrinal change in how recce was going to be done – more overt and less covert.

Meanwhile across the water, the French have simply kept to the script and have already started to receive the EBRC Jaguar

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Joe16
Joe16
6 days ago
Reply to  BobA

I can accept that only so far; one of the first rules of armoured warafare is the person who fires first wins. Being in concealment and able to take the first shot from ambush was what made German tank destroyers so effective in WW2, and I’m not sure that the principles have changed significantly. Unless your recce vehicle can stop a tank round from the opposing force, then I’d suggest that mechanised reconnaisance should still try and be sneaky. If you want to do FIND as you describe it, then do it with MBT/recce teams. Isn’t thant what the US… Read more »

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
6 days ago
Reply to  Joe16

Mmm, similar weight class. Tracked boxer is upto 45 ton, Ajax is 42 tons. Vs the wheeled boxer the tracked version is slightly wider and a fair bit shorter.

Joe16
Joe16
6 days ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

Fair enough, I’ve not been able to find much info online. Boxer is really tall though, as I recall, because of the V-shaped hull. That matters quite a lot if you’re trying to conceal in folds of the land and suchlike. That said, shorter is good for getting in and out of tight spots, even if it is a bit wider.

Jon
Jon
6 days ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

Yet another reason to double down on new variants for Boxer. We should order two or three chassis to try out irrespective of Ajax’s future. If they pan out, we should ask KMW to design a version that sources as many parts as possible in the UK.

Last edited 6 days ago by Jon
Quentin D63
Quentin D63
6 days ago
Reply to  Jon

And maybe they can at least salvage the Ajax turrets? Is the Ajax turret also made by GD or somebody else?

Jon
Jon
6 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

LM, I think

David Steeper
David Steeper
6 days ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

My apologies to the person who asked me about tracked Boxer. I had no idea what they were talking about. It was last week I think but not sure. Lesson learned. Before answering a question on something you know nothing about at least Google it. 😳😳

Ian
Ian
6 days ago

Red arrows announce only 7 red arrow pilots this year…. Because a shortage of pilots….. any thought on this here please?
Thanks Ian

Uninformed Civvy Lurker
Uninformed Civvy Lurker
6 days ago
Reply to  Ian

Initial reports were that 2 pilots got “benched” because of behaving like England players before a football match while on training overseas. “Partying Hard” – Dude. This has now turned into “because of a shortage”. They went with 9, came back with 7 after 2 returned early. There wasn’t a shortage when they left. Too late to add others but early enough to practise 2022 display as a 7 ship. There will be 9 for flypasts only ( as Red 10 and someone else can latch onto the wingtips for a flypast ). What do I know though – I’m… Read more »

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
6 days ago

Surely they would ask some
Previous pilots to fill the gaps if needed? Is it not a 2 year posting with half the pilots replaced each year.
The red arrows in decline is what headlines will read.
7 won’t do a red, white and blue smoke evenly.

Uninformed Civvy Lurker
Uninformed Civvy Lurker
6 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

I think that “why they are still 7” is explained by the “not enough pilots” explanation. It’s “why they are still 7” and not “why they are 7” in the first place. They set out as 9. Got reduced to 7 for “a reason” and can’t backfill because of the “not enough spare pilots” reason or the pilots who could backfill – can’t -because it’s not “normal peacetime”. Most of the Red Arrows display ( well half of it ) never had 9 flying together anyway – once the singletons split off. The main loss will be the signature Diamond… Read more »

Last edited 6 days ago by Uninformed Civvy Lurker
Farouk
Farouk
6 days ago

Whislt not Sweden, I read this story the other day about Norway where they have cancelled their order for 14 NH90 set for the naval role which has me asking what will they look at as its replacement. Heres to the Wildcat: COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — NATO-member Norway terminated its two-decade-old contract with a France-based manufacturer for 14 maritime helicopters, citing delays, errors and time-consuming maintenance, the defense minister said Friday, calling the move “a serious decision.” The Norwegian government will return the NH90 helicopters it has received so far and expects a full refund of the nearly 5 billion… Read more »

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
6 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

Why is the helicopter such a lemon?
It should have been top of the line with so many orders. Merlin or sea hawk to the rescue?

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
6 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Quite.

Well Poland ordered Merlin other nordics have also ordered them for SAR.

So not out of the question.

Same malaise as affects all Eurofudge programs: too many cooks and too much politics + French involvement which is uniquely toxic.

Paul T
Paul T
5 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

From what I have read the NH90 suffered from a pic ‘n’ mix approach, each customer wanted a bespoke tailor made specification rather than having a standard product. A perfect storm for increased costs, massive delays and poor availability.

Farouk
Farouk
5 days ago
Reply to  Paul T

Paul T wrote:

From what I have read the NH90 suffered from a pic ‘n’ mix approach, each customer wanted a bespoke tailor made specification rather than having a standard product. 

Exactly the same with the Tiger/Tigre

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
5 days ago
Reply to  Paul T

It makes me wonder how much the companies are actually bothered about the aircraft. The main companies have helicopter lines that in some cases the NH90 has lost to. Egypt ordered the aw149 instead of the NH90.
Merlin really is still a great naval helicopter. It maybe the case that by 2035-40 the best replacement for naval merlins is new updated merlin. More efficient engines, crew comfort, range, detection systems and more affordable. Obviously autonomous systems may be flying but there will still be a place for manned helicopters

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
6 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

Id heard it was because of breach of contract. Eg deliveries not done in time and then the aircrafts availability being less than the contracted 70%. In addition the aircrafts range and endurance was less than stipulated in the contract. Should have gone for the superior Merlin.

Matt
Matt
5 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

That’s anad exactly the same amount of money France is getting back from Australia for the (lack of) submarines 🙃.

dan
dan
6 days ago

Turkey should be kicked out of NATO for preventing Sweden from joining. Sweden would be much more valuable in a war that Turkey which only cares about itself.

Dave S
Dave S
6 days ago
Reply to  dan

It is the Bosphorus straights that holds their place in NATO – strategy is partly about what you have, and partly what you can deny to your enemy; a Turkey allied with Russia denying access to the Black sea would be unthinkable.

BobA
BobA
6 days ago
Reply to  dan

With Turkey in, NATO covers both ends of the Med. It also reduces the risk if Russia trying to force or seize the Dardanelles because that would cause an Article 5 response – so in essence we can contain the Black Sea fleet. Originally it also gave the US a basing option for nuclear missiles in The USSR’s equivalent of Cuba.

Dave S
Dave S
6 days ago

It is another place where I hope that the Russian performance in Ukraine does not a breed complacency. Everyone saw the video of the ‘best of the best’ Russian Spetsnaz (in a video they actually released bizarrely) ‘storming’ an airport on Kyiv, flying in a rusty helicopter with a carrier bag flapping around in the wind, and then when they landed they just kind of sauntered around looking lost, pouches open, various straps of rifles and equipment just dangling – being an ‘elite’ operative of the Russian special forces in soldiering terms seems to be broadly equivalent of having spent… Read more »