From Copenhagen Post: Following an agreement between Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland, which was signed by the defence minister, Nick Hækkerup (Socialdemokraterne), the five countries will in the future operate a joint fleet of military transport planes. However, there are no concrete plans at present to do the same with fighter jets.
Norway and Denmark both have four C-130 Hercules transport planes while Sweden has eight. Finland will contribute its three smaller transport planes, the EADS CASA C-295, to the joint fleet. Iceland does not own any military transport planes, but has promised to contribute funds to purchasing more jointly-owned aircraft.
“The best solution would be to pool our resources so that we can access each other’s planes,” Hækkerup told Jyllands-Posten. “Some planes are always unavailable, either due to servicing or repairs. This is an opportunity for a Nordic co-operation for the operative use of planes, maintenance, education and training exercises.”
The Nordic countries also agreed to the possibility of sharing the costs of field rations, batteries, ammunition for hand weapons, as well as sharing the responsibilities for radar surveillance and tug boats.
Across Europe there is a move towards cutting military spending, and pooling resources is considered an efficient way of reducing costs while minimising operational capabilities.
For example, Denmark and Sweden independently carry out radar surveillance of the Baltic Sea. However, Denmark’s facility on the island of Bornholm will need replacing in the coming years, so it makes sense to just share Sweden’s newer radar facility, which covers the same area. (photo: Ministry of Defense of Norway)