Ground Warfare

German Air Force PATRIOT Air Defense System Successfully Deployed to Finland

152
×

German Air Force PATRIOT Air Defense System Successfully Deployed to Finland

Share this article
German Air Force PATRIOT Air Defense System Successfully Deployed to Finland
German Air Force PATRIOT Air Defense System Successfully Deployed to Finland

Exercise Mallet Strike finished after ten days of practicing binational integrated air defence drills with almost 1,500 soldiers from across the Finnish Armed Forces and a 120-strong German Air Force PATRIOT firing unit. For the first time since Finland joined NATO in April 2023, the armed forces of Finland and Germany trained together practicing surface-based air defence during the Finnish-led exercise Mallet Strike. A key exercise objective has been to hone interoperability and integration of the German PATRIOT unit with Finnish NASAMS (National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System) for this purpose, the authority over the German unit was transferred to the Finnish Army increasing the effectiveness of training together and practicing communications structures and chain of command.

“I am so proud that together with our Finnish Allies, we made a decisive contribution by participating in this exercise to advance interoperability and deepen integration between our PATRIOT and Finnish ground-based air defence systems. In doing so, we are making an important contribution to strengthening NATO’s integrated air defence, providing credible deterrence and increasing the Alliance’s defence capability,” said Colonel Alexander Zoklits Commodore of the German Surface-to-Air Missile Wing 1.

A German Air Force PATRRIOT and a Finnish NASAMS launcher lined up during exercise Mallet Strike 2024 demonstrating readiness and  interoperability among NATO Air Defence forces. Photo by Martin Hoenig.
A German Air Force PATRRIOT and a Finnish NASAMS launcher lined up during exercise Mallet Strike 2024 demonstrating readiness and interoperability among NATO Air Defence forces. (Photo by Martin Hoenig)

“We wanted to show our national solution of defending our country, our air defence systems, conscripts, the way we train and fight, and what we can bring to NATO. I hope and believe our German friends learned something from us – we definitely learned from them,” describes the Colonel Mano-Mikael Nokelainen Finnish Inspector of the Ground Based Air Defence Forces.

This type of binational live exercise supports achieving common and individual exercise objectives including different elements of air operations such as reconnaissance or electronic warfare and defence against airborne threats e.g. by surface-based or maritime systems. Interoperability enables Allied forces to act together coherently, effectively and efficiently to achieve tactical, operational and strategic objectives. It is essential for all operations in which NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence is involved and requires a high degree of coordination. Since the late 1980s, the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) has had a total of 12 batteries (24 firing units) of the MIM-104 Patriot PAC-3 system under the 1st Air Defense Wing Schleswig-Holstein, consisting of four groups: the 21st in Sanitz, the 24th in Bad Sülze, the 26th in Husum, and the 61st in Todendorf. Two additional batteries are used for crew training. On April 18, 2023, Germany handed over one of the batteries to Ukraine, as was promised at the beginning of that year. Temporarily, one battery each has been deployed in Poland and Slovakia.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *