With Sweden soon to join the Nato alliance the country joins its future partners in a military exercise to advance their collective security in the Baltic Sea region.
Aurora 2023 enables participants to hone their skills in a high-intensity scenario that simulates potential threats. Swedish air defence units work alongside fighter, transport, and support aircraft from Sweden, Finland, Poland, Portugal, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
Tasks will involve a range of operations, including offensive and defensive air operations; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations; close air support; and strike missions. The bases in Sweden will serve as the launchpad for these missions, which are expected to be highly effective in boosting the military’s preparedness for any potential threats.
These exercises enable forces to integrate together to formulate a cohesive military response to international crises.
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It has been reported that Royal Marines in the UK’s littoral response group (LRG) conducted three amphibious landings on the Nordic nation’s complex coastline in the southern part of the Baltic Sea. The Swedish prime minister Ulf Kristersson stated that he would like the British commandos to return to Sweden “next year and every year.”
Marines from 45 Commando stormed the beaches of Gotland – a strategically important island in the middle of the Baltic – and on the Stockholm archipelago, a complex network of 30,000 islands in the approaches to Sweden’s capital. The Royal Marines crashed ashore on the island of Korso, on the eastern edge of the archipelago, showing allies’ ability to stop an enemy invasion.
Russian cruise missiles
In a UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) twitter update on the war in Ukraine it was reported that on the night of 8-9 May, the Russian navy’s Black Sea fleet launched eight SS-N-30A SAGARIS land attack cruise missiles (LACMs).
The UK MoD added: “In the short-term, Russia likely sees LACM as a key capability to strike deep into Ukraine to disrupt anticipated Ukrainian counter-offensives.
“However, more strategically, Russia also sees conventional SAGARIS and other LACMs as having an important role in any hypothetical conflict with Nato.”
As part of the Aurora exercise, 160 cruise missiles – such as the Russian LACMs – are imagined to have struck both Skillingaryd and Hagshult military air bases. After the assault in Sweden, the government declares war as there are no viable political solutions available.