The brand new Rapid Dragon is a highly potent weapon system that can launch a swarm of cruise missiles from a standard military transport plane. The United States, with NATO members, will for the first time exercise this strike capability inside the Arctic Circle over the Norwegian Sea, sometime from November 9 to 11.
The exercise area west of Andøya and Tromsø in Northern Norway is about 150 kilometers long and 100 kilometers wide.
From this part of the Norwegian Sea, the distance to the homeports for Russia’s nuclear submarines on the Kola Peninsula is some 650 kilometers. In February, just days before Moscow’s onslaught on Ukraine, a Northern Fleet frigate tested a Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missile near Norway’s Bear Island in the Barents Sea as part of a larger strategic nuclear missile drill. […]
An advantage of the new weapon system is that the United States could rapidly provide massive strike capability to any NATO member by using the existing fleet of transport planes. Such planes, like the Hercules, can operate from landing runways as short as 900 meters.
There are several tens of such runways in northern Scandinavia, airports that can deploy the planes in case military air bases with longer runways are attacked by an adversary. […]
Andøya air base is by the Norwegian Government earmarked for receiving allied forces in case of crisis or war. The air base is on the coast to the exercise area and is today home to the country’s fleet of P-3 Orion maritime surveillance aircraft, to be phased out as six new P-8 Poseidon will be deployed to Evenes air base. […]
The Norwegian Armed Forces have over the last years boosted training with other NATO forces inside the Arctic Circle, including joint fighter jets training with American bombers, warship navigation at sea, and army forces exercises together with the two neighboring coming members of NATO; Sweden and Finland. Läs artikel