Air Superiority 2018 Exercise in Sweden
According to Hungarian Defense Forces offical site, the almost sixty personnel contingent, who has been staying in Sweden for a week, conducts air-to-air and air-to-earth live fire exercise in the framework of the Air Superiority 2018 Exercise at the Vidsel Air Base. Brigadier General Albert Sáfár, Air Chief of the HDF Joint Force Command was personally convinced about the successes of the missions on the spot.
As we have earlier reported in the honvedelem.hu, the almost sixty strong personnel and the six JAS-39 Gripen type fighter planes relocated to Vidsel on June 7. The air base and drill ground located just one hundred kilometres away from the Arctic Circle is the largest firing range of Sweden and of the European Union as well. For the soldiers of the HDF 59th “Szentgyörgyi Dezső” Air Base this territory is not unfamiliar at all, as this is the fourth time that they visited Vidsel: earlier preparation trainings were held here in 2008, in 2012 and in 2015, – the last time they were prepared for the first Baltic Air Policing mission of the Hungarian Defence Forces, in the course of which the Gripens guarded and protected the common airspace of the Baltic countries for a period of four months.
By the first half of their two week lasting tour abroad, the participants of the exercise managed to perform all the planned air-to-air live firing tasks, in which they overcame the drogues with AIM-9L type Sidewinder missiles and internal cannons of the JAS-39 Gripens.
Also, the pilots had the opportunity to use the air-to-earth arms already during the first week.
The live firing of these will culminate in the second week of the exercise, when the ground targets will be destroyed with AGM-65 type air-to earth missiles and GBU-12 and MK-82 bombs.
The exercise and the soldiers executing the missions were visited by Brigadier General Albert Sáfár, the Air Chief of the HDF Joint Forces Command, accompanied by Dr. Adrien Müller, the Ambassador of Hungary to Stockholm and Brigadier General Nándor Kilián, the Defence Attaché of Hungary accredited to Sweden. From the detailed information of Brigadier General Csaba Ugrik, the Commander of the HDF 59th “Szentgyörgyi Dezső” Air Base and the personnel participating in the Air Superiority exercise, we learned that despite the sometimes unfavourable weather conditions, all the so far planned tasks have been successfully completed. He highlighted that this is largely due to the resilience and preparedness of the soldiers, who thereby did not have to face unexpected tasks.
During his visit later Brigadier General Albert Sáfár could personally experience the excellent cohesion of the soldiers, as during the execution of one of the low-level flights – at an altitude of just 150 meters – the Air Chief also joined the two-seated JAS-39 on board. Brigadier General Sáfár citing the message of Lieutenant General Ferenc Korom said: the Chief of Defence is attentive to the activity of the soldiers in Sweden, and wishes every success to the performance of the different tasks.
The capabilities practised in the training sessions of the Air Superiority 2018 are indispensable to achieve the full operational capability of Close Air Support (that is the close air support of the ground units).