File under, not a lot of people knew that.
The Swedish Army supported the London 2012 Olympic Games by deploying one of their Saab Giraffe radar systems to support the low level airspace surveillance and control.
Reported on the Swedish Armed Forces web site last week were details of the deployment, click here
Air Vice Marshall Stuart Atha (Air Officer Commanding, Number One Group, RAF) commented;
without them it would have been a hole in the safety net we have built around the Olympics
The Royal Artillery have been using the Giraffe system for a while, in 2009 a number were borrowed from the Swedish Army and a number have been deployed to Afghanistan, read more in the Royal Artillery Briefing Bulletin and Gunner Magazine here and here. Australian forces have also deployed Giraffe to Afghanistan as part of their LAND 19 Phase 7A acquisition programme.
It is interesting that it wasn’t the US, French or German forces who perhaps don’t have an equivalent capability either. The article is clear that it was focussed on low and slow objects, small UAV’s for example.
This is an area I have been talking about for a while now
I also had a look back at the significant output from the MoD media team on the Olympics and not once did I see mention of having a capability gap that had to be filled by Sweden.
Could it have been because of operational security reasons, perhaps, or would it have been considered far too politically sensitive?
One might view this as either sensible resource sharing between close allies or yet another sign that the British Armed Forces are over stretched and under resourced, having to go cap in hand to others.
With the publication this week of the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee report on the Olympics Security this will no doubt throw petrol on the barbie.
H/T Shepard Media