Last February, two Tu-95 bombers intercepted over the Channel were found to be carrying a nuclear missile designed to destroy Trident submarines.
Cockpit conservations confirming the bomber’s nuclear payload were intercepted by a Norwegian military listening post and passed to the Ministry of Defence.
The country’s minister of defence, Ine Eriksen Søreide, said Norway would spend 3.6 billion kroner on building Norway’s first anti-aircraft battery and modernising its squadron of German-made Leopard 2 tanks, amongst other defence projects.
Several defence experts in Norway have been calling for more troops and better capabilities close to the Russian border. Continue reading
The rocky relations have led some to criticise the shutting down of Olavsvern Naval Base, a massive complex burrowed into a mountain near the northern town of Tromsoe, that has been closed since 2009.
“We sold the only base worthy of the name that we had up there. It’s pure madness,” former vice admiral Einar Skorgen, who commanded Norway’s northern forces, told AFP.
Skorgen and other critics say Norway has robbed itself of a crucial foothold in the far north, forcing its submarines to travel hundreds of extra miles from their bases to defend the region. Continue reading
BODO, Norway — From his command post burrowed deep into a mountain of quartz and slate north of the Arctic Circle, the 54-year-old commander of the Norwegian military’s operations headquarters watches time flowing backward, pushed into reverse by surging Russian military activity redolent of East-West sparring during the Cold War.
“I am what you could call a seasoned Cold Warrior,” the commander, Lt. Gen. Morten Haga Lunde, said, speaking in an underground complex built to withstand a nuclear blast. As a result, he added, he is not too alarmed by increased Russian military activity along NATO’s northern flank.
After a long hiatus following the December 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, when Moscow grounded its strategic bombers for lack of fuel, spare parts and will to project power, President Vladimir V. Putin’s newly assertive Russia “is back to normal behavior,” General Lunde said. Continue reading