Former Defence Chief says new Russian weapons are a threat to be taken seriously

Sverre DiesenSverre Diesen.Photo: Knut Falch / SCANPIX

Russia has developed long-range precision weapons that can reach targets throughout Norway.


Russia can now hit high-precision targets throughout Norway with conventional weapons, either from their own territory, or from aircraft, and vessels, in international waters.

Former Defence Chief, Sverre Diesen, believes Norway must consider acquiring the same weapon types to respond with counter-attacks against Russian targets.

‘This is a development that has consequences for how we think about the composition, and use, of our own defence systems,’ said Sverre Diesen.

Affect from a distance

Russia has produced a groundbreaking ice missile that can be used on both conventional weapons, and nuclear warheads.

‘And they have developed a number of new long-range cross-missiles that can be delivered from airplanes, ships and from land,’ said Tor Bukkvoll.

He is a researcher at the Norwegian Defence Research Institute, and believes that development has been rapid since 2008.

‘Will any new war be made different by the new weapons?’

‘Yes, I believe so. Particularly, because with this kind of weapon, one can influence a political opponent on a military basis, without having to enter the opponent’s territory,’ said Bukkvoll.

Such a situation might happen if Russia used the new weapons to push Allied and Norwegian military out of Finnmark, according to a central military planner.

Editor of the journal, Military Technology, Bjørn Domaas Josefsen, believes Norway is more exposed by the new weapons because they can destroy infrastructure.

‘In Northern Norway there are roads, and a coastline. If these are destroyed, so that military forces can’t get north, Norway has a big problem,’ said Bjørn Domaas Josefsen.

Impossible to protect everything

Ørlandet’s main airport, with new fighters, has air defence and other measures to protect the aircraft. Former Defence Chief, Sverre Diesen, believes the new weapons are still a threat to Ørlandet.

‘It is certainly a threat that needs to be taken seriously. But I don’t think that the biggest problem is an aircraft base. There, after all, we can concentrate much air protection, as well as the fact that the aircraft can be moved to other bases, possibly outside Norway,’ said Diesen.

‘The difficulty may well arise in other areas, such as critical infrastructure where it is impossible to protect everything. The biggest challenge is with long-range precision weapons, and protecting very many targets, and that is more or less practically impossible.’

In the strategy statement, Diesen described ‘deterrence by denial’, deterring by denying the opponent a target, as opposed to deterrence by punishment, deterrence by repayment.

‘For the next five to ten years, the discussion will be whether Norway is ripe to take the consequences, and make us less vulnerable by having the same type of weapons’, he believes.

Big consequences

Diesen believes the new Russian long-distance precision weapons will have great affects on the Armed Forces.

‘We have probably just begun to think about the consequences this will have for us,’ said Diesen.

It hasn’t been possible to get a comment from the Ministry of Defence. Senior Advisor, Marita Hundershagen,wrote in an e-mail that the ministry may make a statement after publication.


Source: NRK / Norway Today


1 Comment on "Former Defence Chief says new Russian weapons are a threat to be taken seriously"

  1. And why would Russia attack Norway?

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