Home » Swiss Air Force to practise taking off and landing on motorway

Swiss Air Force to practise taking off and landing on motorway

Swiss Air Force to practise taking off and landing on motorway

The A1 motorway near Payerne will be closed to traffic when fighter jets are taking off and landing on it

Keystone / Anthony Anex

The Swiss Air Force has received the green light from the government for take-offs and landings of F/A-18 fighter jets on the A1 motorway between Avenches and Payerne in western Switzerland.

The motorway section will be closed for a maximum of 36 hours from June 4 to June 6, the government decided on Wednesday.

Planning is being carried out in close collaboration with the Federal Roads Office and the cantonal police of Vaud and Fribourg, the government added. During the closure of the motorway section, traffic will be diverted via the cantonal road network.

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With the exercise on the A1, the Swiss Armed Forces are pursuing the goal of testing and expanding the ability to decentralise their air defence resources. The air force wants to test whether its fighter aircraft can also be deployed from improvised locations, such as motorways.

The security situation in Europe has deteriorated further in recent years, particularly with the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, according to a government statement. It said that in order to continue to fulfil its core mission of protecting Switzerland and its population, the armed forces must consistently strengthen their defence capabilities in all areas of action – ground, air and cyberspace.

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The Swiss Air Force carried out similar tests on motorway sections in the 1970s and 1980s with Hunter and F5 Tiger fighter aircraft.

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