Stewart Penney/UPPSALA

The Swedish Air Force is being forced to rethink its training plans after the country's parliament voted earlier this month to close two bases. The air force had planned to concentrate its training school at Uppsala, one of the two bases earmarked for closure.

The decision means F10 Wing at Angelholm will close next year followed by F16 at Uppsala in 2003. Air force plans had envisaged moving the basic training school from Angelholm to Uppsala to join the existing Saab JA37 Viggen tactical training unit and the fighter controllers school. Pilots train on the Viggen prior to flying the Saab/BAE Systems JAS39 Gripen. Now all the training units will have to be relocated.

Maj Gen Mats Nilsson, Swedish air force commander and inspector general, says although the original plan of forming eight JAS39 squadrons grouped within four wings by 2004 will go ahead, "we are now starting a study to consider where and how to locate the training system". F10 and F16 are the largest bases in the Swedish air force.

Nilsson says the supreme commander of the Swedish armed forces provided the parliament with six options in April, but none of them were accepted.

The cuts are intended to reduce costs within the air force, although significant sums have already been spent at Uppsala in preparation for it to become the training centre.

As part of earlier plans, the air force headquarters will move to a joint headquarters with the army and navy at Näsby Park, near Stockholm, starting next year and ending in 2004.

Source: Flight International