ACE 2023 – this year´s the largest aviation exercise in Europe

This year´s edition of the biennial, live-fly aviation training of the Nordic countries – Arctic Challenge Exercise 2023 – is scheduled to start at the end of May. With approximately 2,700 participating personnel and more than 150 aircraft involved, the ACE 2023 will be the largest military aviation exercise in Europe this year.

Combat aircraft from thirteen nations are expected to take part in ACE 2023, alongside with AWACS aircraft of the NATO fleet. Majority of the exercise activities will be carried out from four air bases – Ørland in Norway, Kallax in Sweden, Rovaniemi and Pirkkala in Finland.

The first part of the ACE 2023 combat training will be held in Norway, off the coast from Ålesund and northwards, and in the area off the coast of Helgeland. In addition, some flights will be performed over land, in Trøndelag and Dovre areas. In the second part of the exercise, the training activities will be organized in northern Sweden.

F-35 Lightning II pilot of the Royal Norwegian Air Force (photo: Maria Selnes / Forsvaret)

This year´s edition of the traditional Nordic exercise will be marked as the first large-scale European aviation exercise with participation of the 5th generation aircraft. And that is because ACE 2023 will host Lockheed-Martin F-35 Lighting II jet fighters deployed from Italy, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the United States, and, certainly, the Royal Norwegian Air Force.

Although the ACE 2023 is scheduled for week 22 and 23, you can still learn more about the largest aviation training activity in the Nordic by reading our report from the 2021 edition of the exercise.

P-8A Poseidon of the Royal Norwegian Air Force, exercise Joint Viking 2023 (photo: Torbjørn Kjosvold / Forsvaret)

Cover photo: F-35 Lighinting II of the Royal Norwegian Air Force is landing at Evenes air force base – Joint Viking 2023 (photo: Philip Linder / Forsvaret). All photos © Royal Norwegian Armed Forces / Forsvaret. Information from the Royal Norwegian Armed Forces press materials were used.