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The Air Force

With new fighter jets, helicopters and maritime patrol aircraft, the Norwegian Air Force faces major changes in its organisation and structure.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Royal Norwegian Air Force provides units and personnel for operations both in peacetime, crisis and war – in Norway and abroad.

The Air Force also ensures that forces are at constant readiness for aerial surveillance, exercise of authority and ensuring national sovereignty. The Air Force also operates Norway's search and rescue helicopters. The Chief of the Air Force, supported by the Air Staff, is responsible for force production and is bas​ed at Rygge, south-eastern Norway. The current Chief is Major General Tonje Skinnarland.

As of 2020, the Air Force is undergoing a major restructuring. New bases are developing, and capacities like the F-35 fighter jets, the NH90 helicopters and the AW101 rescue helicopters are being implemented into the organisation.

Ørland Air Station is Norway's main F-35 base, and in 2017 the first jets landed here. In November 2019, the Norwegian F-35 fleet reached its initial operational capacity. The fleet will be fully operational in 2025, when Norway has received all its 52 aircraft. The implementation of F-35 will change the Royal Norwegian Air Force fundamentally. Most of the F-35 will operate from Ørland, while the Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) will be operated from Evenes Air Base in northern Norway from 2021. The Quick Reaction Alert is carried out on behalf of NATO, and is per 2020 operated by F-16s from Bodø Air Station.

Today's P-3 Orion maritime surveillance aircraft will be replaced by five new P-8 Poseidon aircraft from 2022. The new maritime aircraft will operate from Evenes Air Base.

Bardufoss Air Station in northern Norway was established as maritime helicopter wing in autumn 2019. Station Group Gardermoen, in south-eastern Norway is home to Norway's C-130J Hercules and DA-20, while Rygge Air Base houses the Bell 412 helicopters.

locations and bases

  • Ørland Air Station – the main hub for Norway's F-35
  • Other air stations: Andøya, Bardufoss, Evenes, and Rygge
  • Air Force Base Bodø (operational until F-16 is phased out)
  • Station Group Sola, Gardermoen, and Banak
  • The search and rescue service operates from Banak, Bodø, Ørland, Rygge, Sola, and the civil airport at Florø.
  • Air Defence Control and Reporting Centre (CRC): Sørreisa, northern Norway. Also has an education and training centre.
  • Air Force Operations Inspectorate, Rygge
  • Air Force Training Inspectorate, Rygge
  • Air Force Academy, Trondheim
  • Air Force Flying School, Bardufoss
  • Air Force Education Centre (Officer Candidate School and Technical School), Kjevik
  • Basic Training Establishment KNM Harald Haarfagre, Madla, Stavanger
Published 11 June 2015 17:35.. Last updated 07 January 2020 15:28.