Multinational cooperation: building capabilities in small air forces

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Series Details Volume 20, Number 1, Pages 85-104
Publication Date January 2019
ISSN 0966-2839 (Print) 1746-1545 (Online)
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European air power is represented by a variety of air forces, each equipped with different capabilities and facing different limitations. Developing the former and making up for the latter requires resources and finances and is not always possible within a national capacity. It may be particularly problematic for smaller air forces, especially with the trend of shrinking defence budgets and increasing costs of the newest technological achievements.

This article investigates the idea of multinational cooperation in Europe as a way to make up for these shortfalls and build collective European capabilities. In doing so, it focuses on two states, namely Poland and Sweden as examples of small air forces. By choosing these countries as case studies it also provides an opportunity to investigate the different forms of multinational involvement existing within and outside a major military alliance, namely NATO. The article explores the participation of the Polish and Swedish Air Forces in several multinational initiatives and investigates how such involvement increases (or not) their capabilities.

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