Swiss Air Force Lands Fighter Jets on Motorway in training exercise

Swiss Air Force Lands Fighter Jets on Motorway in training exercise

In a demonstration of its ability to operate from improvised locations, Swiss Air Force Lands F/A-18 fighter jets on Motorway in training exercise. The live televised drill highlighted Switzerland’s efforts to diversify and decentralize the basing of its combat aircraft amid heightened security concerns in Europe.

Testing Alternate Landing Capabilities

The twin-engine supersonic jets touched down and took off from the rural stretch of highway between the towns of Avenches and Payerne. It marked the first time in over 30 years that the neutral Swiss military has practiced highway landings and dispersed operations.

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Mitigating Vulnerability Risks

According to Swiss officials, the exercise was necessary as the nation’s air force currently concentrates all assets at just three main airbases. This makes them potentially vulnerable targets to long-range enemy weapons systems during a conflict.

By preparing to operate from temporary locations like motorways, the Swiss aim to improve the survivability and resilience of their air combat capabilities through decentralized deployment options.

Broader Security Context

The highway landing drill comes as Switzerland prepares to host a major summit later this month seeking pathways to peace in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war. It underscores how the conflict has heightened security concerns and military readiness exercises across Europe.

While neutral, Switzerland has taken steps to bolster its defensive capabilities and operational flexibility in response to the changing geopolitical environment and threats in the region. Dispersing air assets is one way it aims to ensure credible deterrence.

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