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Swiss Air Force to use motorway for test exercise 

A man can be seen on the ground photographing five white and red F-5 Tiger Jets in the top right of the photo flying in the same direction, leaving thin white cloud trails behind them. The sky is overcast with some blue sky.
The Air Force wants to use the ‘Alpha Uno’ exercise to test whether its fighter jets can take off and land at improvised locations. Keystone / Michael Buholzer

Swiss Air Force F/A-18 fighter jets will practice taking off and landing on the A1 motorway between Payerne and Avenches in canton Vaud on June 5. 

The section of the motorway will be closed for up to 36 hours for the exercise, with the training area largely cordoned off, it was confirmed on Thursday. There are no longer any spots left for members of the public to observe.

The Air Force wants to use the ‘Alpha Uno’ exercise to test whether its fighter jets can take off and land at improvised locations. One reason for the exercise is the deteriorating security situation in Europe and the army’s goal to strengthen its capabilities.   

+ The Swiss army: your questions answered

For the exercise, the motorway will be converted into a runway for which, among other things, the central crash barrier will have to be dismantled.  

This exercise is not a first for the Swiss Air Force. Similar tests were carried out ten times on national roads during the Cold War, an army spokesperson said.   

Adapted from German by DeepL/kp 

This news story has been written and carefully fact-checked by an external editorial team. At SWI swissinfo.ch we select the most relevant news for an international audience and use automatic translation tools such as DeepL to translate it into English. Providing you with automatically translated news gives us the time to write more in-depth articles.

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