Monday, June 24, 2024

Swiss F/A-18 jets land on highway

The Swiss Air Force has successfully completed the “Alpha Uno” exercise, a drill that included the unusual sight of F/A-18 Hornet jets landing on a highway.

This exercise, conducted on June 5, 2024, along the A1 motorway near Payerne, showcased the Swiss war time’s approach to decentralizing its air operations.

Currently, the Swiss Air Force operates from three primary airbases: Payerne, Emmen, and Meiringen. Concentrating resources at these few locations increases vulnerability to potential attacks. To mitigate this risk, the Air Force has implemented decentralization as a passive air defense strategy. This approach involves dispersing personnel and equipment across the country rapidly, enabling operations from alternative and even improvised locations.


The “Alpha Uno” exercise is a direct response to the need for decentralization. The ability to take off and land on highways and former military airfields repurposed for civilian use is critical. These locations, some of which were originally designed for such purposes during the Cold War, allow the Air Force to maintain operational readiness even in a compromised security environment.

As security conditions in Europe continue to evolve, the Swiss military is focused on enhancing its defensive capabilities comprehensively. The use of non-traditional airstrips is part of this broader strategy, ensuring that the Swiss Air Force can operate flexibly and resiliently in various scenarios.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov is the editor-in-chief of Defence Blog. He is a journalist, an accredited defense advisor, and a consultant. His background as a defense advisor and consultant adds a unique perspective to his journalistic endeavors, ensuring that his reporting is well-informed and authoritative. read more