Norwegians, Americans build Arctic satellite station against enemy cruise missiles

Department Director Ole Felix Dahl in FD, Space Commander and Chief E-Service Nils Andreas Stensønes, Director Space Development Agency Dr. Tournear and Colonel Kalliroy Landry Space Development Agency. (Cato Nordlien/ Norwegian Armed Forces)

Station will be built at Andøya, northern Norway, and be the first of its kind outside the USA.

«The establishment of the satellite station at the Andøya Airbase will significantly strengthen Norway’s and NATO’s territory,» Norway’s Defense Minister Bjørn Arild Gram says in a comment.

«In today’s security situation we have to stand together to defend all of NATO,» he underlines.

The station will be located at the far northern island that previously housed Norway’s fleet of P-3 Orion surveillance aircrafts. It is also the site for a new Arctic base long-range drones.

It is the first station of its kind outside the USA, the Norwegian Defense Ministry informs.

«I am very content that the USA chooses Norway as its partner in this exciting project,» Minister Gram says.

Bjørn Arild Gram is Norway’s Minister of Defence. (Thomas Nilsen/The Independent Barents Observer)

The new station will provide Norway and NATO with a new early warning mechanism against cruise missiles in the North. Andøya is located about 800 km west of Severomorsk, the headquarter city of Russia’s Northern Fleet.

The far northern island also houses the Andøya Spaceport, a space center that supports the Norwegian military activities.

«The government has a clear ambition that Norway is to be best among its allies on situation awareness in the North. Satellites contribute to overview over developments in our region and Andøya has a unique location when it comes to access to the outer space,» Gram explains.

The announcement about the new satellite station comes as Norway significantly strengthens its armed forces.

A new long-term defence plan outlines a doubling of military spending over the next 12 years. By 2036, the Nordic country is to spend 3 percent of GDP on the military.

Related stories from around the North: 

Canada: Canada pledges billions for defence, falls short of NATO’s 2%, CBC News

Finland: Military exercise apparently disrupts weather images from Lapland, Yle News

IcelandIceland authorizes U.S. submarine service visits, Eye on the Arctic 

Norway: “Historical strengthening of our Armed Forces,” says Norway, The Independent Barents Observer

RussiaAs NATO forces move north for exercise, Northern Fleet sails out frigates, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Swedes must mentally prepare for war, says military top brass, Radio Sweden

United States: U.S. nominates Alaskan as first Arctic ambassador, Eye on the Arctic

Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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