Danish Armed Force Air Surveillance Radar
Danish Armed Force Air Surveillance Radar

Denmark Plans New Air-Defense Radar in Faroe Islands to Bolster Gaps in North Atlantic

The Danish government wants close involvement with the Faroe Islands in the upcoming defense settlement. This was emphasized when Acting Minister of Defense Troels Lund Poulsen met with the National Governor for Foreign Affairs, Høgni Hoydal, in Tórshavn. The meeting was part of the prelude to the upcoming defense settlement. The need for strong cooperation with the Faroe Islands has only been emphasized after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The security policy situation in our region is serious, and the rules-based world order is under pressure. Therefore, security in the Arctic and the North Atlantic is an important theme in the upcoming defense settlement.

“It was a pleasure to meet with the national governor for foreign affairs today, because it confirms to me that we have moved closer together in the Commonwealth when it comes to security. I want a close dialogue with the North Atlantic governments, in particular in connection with the upcoming defense settlement. This also applies to the North Atlantic members of parliament. Together, we must ensure that the Defense Department’s tasks continue to be satisfactorily carried out in the Arctic and the North Atlantic. The enormous extent of the Arctic and the North Atlantic makes close security cooperation with the Faroe Islands and Greenland necessary,” says Acting Defense Minister Troels Lund Poulsen.

Troels Lund Poulsen and national director for foreign affairs, Høgni Hoydal. (Photo by Danish Ministry of Defence)

The Faroe Islands, or simply the Faroes or Faeroes are a North Atlantic archipelago and island country part of the Kingdom of Denmark. It is located 320 kilometres (200 mi) north-northwest of Scotland, and about halfway between Norway (580 kilometres (360 mi) away) and Iceland (430 kilometres (270 mi) away). It is one of the three constituent countries that form the Kingdom of Denmark along with Denmark and Greenland. In addition to the defense settlement, the upcoming air warning radar in the Faroe Islands was also discussed at today’s meeting. In June 2022, Denmark and the Faroe Islands agreed on the framework for setting up an air-warning radar at Sornfelli in the Faroe Islands.

The radar will monitor the airspace between Iceland, Norway, and Great Britain and is expected to have a range of 3-400 km. This will strengthen the Norwegian Armed Forces’ surveillance of the North Atlantic. The project course with the air warning radar at Sornfelli is expected to extend over a number of years starting in 2023 and will, e.g., include preparation of a project basis, the tender process and contract conclusion, construction, and installation. The radar is part of an Arctic spending plan passed by the Danish parliament in February. A budget of almost $56 million is set for establishment of the radar, which has a reach of up to 400 kilometers (248 miles). It will take about five years before it is ready to use.