Scandinavian Space Tour

18-29 Sept 2008

From: Agneta Norberg

Bruce Gagnon has already presented  an excellent  report from the Scandinavian tour. I would like though to add  some background notes about the central role the Swedish Peace Committee played in preparing, arranging and sponsoring the Nordic trip. I think it is a model for cooperation between countries and regions. I will also say a few words about installations and bases  in connection with Space in Scandinavia .

In 2007, the Swedish Peace Committee, funded by Folke Bernadotteīs Foundation, started planning  a speech tour for BG in Scandinavia. Barbara Bradefors, SPC, made a strong effort to contact  peace groups within Sweden as well as in Denmark and Norway. The organisations involved in the tour were:  Swedish Peace Committee and Women for Peace, Kiruna, in Sweden. WILPF, Denmark's Peace Council and the Communist party, in Denmark, WILPF in Norway.

What is Scandinavia?
Scandinavia consists of Denmark, Norway and Sweden.  Some writers include  the Faeroe Islands, Finland and Aland as well (Wikipedia). An entity called The North includes Iceland, Faeroe Islands, Svalbard, Jan Mayen and Greenland.

A piece of History.
For 600 years Finland was part of Sweden. Norway and Sweden were in a
union  to 1905. Southern part of Sweden belonged to Denmark until the end of 17th
Century. The big arctic island  Greenland was a long time a colony of Denmark. Until today Greenlandīs foreign policy is under Danish (US) rule. Norway, Denmark and Iceland are all in NATO. Finland and Sweden are in the NATO antechamber Partnership for Peace.


Sweden is big in Space technology and industry and far ahead many other nations in international space activities. Sweden plays an important role in  European Space Agency - ESA- and in an ever increasing development of military space technology. In Jan. 2005, a report from the Swedish Department of Industry, argues for  increasing space technology in aviation and space industry both for military and civil use. The report states: "The expanding of Space and aviation industry shall be one of the driving forces for Sweden's growth and position as a high technologic nation" The plan stresses the importance of cooperation with both the US and European Union, "Cooperation in Research and Technology should be developed  to secure access to US research and technology development and  secure Swedish corporations the possibilities to be suppliers for future high tech systems."

The biggest space corporations in Sweden are : Ericsson, Saab Space, Space Corporation, VolvoAero and Angstrom Laboratories.  All these corporations are present in the US market.

Angstrom Laboratories are world-wide-known for its mini-satellites and
Global Positioning System. SAAB Space is an important supplier for Lockheed Martins rockets and satellite systems. Lockheed Martin is the biggest arms producer in the world and one of the biggest in developing the missile defence systems. SAAB SPACE is equipping most of the worlds launch vehicles with satellite separation systems. SAAB Space is the leading manufacturer of computers on board satellites on Space Rockets (Ariane systems) steering systems for soundrockets exported to NASA. SAAB SPACE is the dominant supplier  for Galileo satellites. PRISMA- a flying high-tech space laboratory will be launched this year at Esrange.

Esrange, some miles outside Kiruna,in northernmost Sweden, is the most active ground-station for satellites in the world. The Space Corporation controls or monitors 24 satellites  from the satellite station in and around Esrange. That means 92 satellite passages every 24 hour. The Space Corporation is in alliance with US Corporation Universal Space Net - the Priora net. They cooperate with Taiwan and the US to develop advanced techniques for real time surveillance. Esrange cooperates with Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Esrange has, together with NASA, conducted successful balloon flights from Esrange to Alaska. They make big scientific
experiments called Anti Electron-Suborbital Payload and Transition Radiation Array for Cosmic Energetic radiation. This is financed by NASA. Olle Norberg, director for Esrange Space Center says: "We have a magnificent cooperation with our American
partners. We can offer the researchers long distance balloon flights with heavy instruments on board".

North European Aerospace Test Range - NEAT.
This is taken from the advertising folder for  NEAT:

Located in the North of Sweden, NEAT, is the largest overland test range in Western Europe. We offer our services and experience in consulting, trials support and operations to the aerospace community. At NEAT, tests of different aerospace vehicles have been performed since the mid-1950s. Missile tests can be conducted by using a restricted ground space  of 1650 km2, different targets and  drones, and a complete set of test instrumentation. Similarly, sounding rocket and stratospheric balloon flights can be performed using rocket launchers, ground facilities and a dedicated unpopulated ground area covering 5200 km2. Two airfields that can be used by costumers  are present in the area with runway lengths of up to 2500 metres. 12000 km2 restricted airspace is available for testing purposes over the range, with a possibility to temporarily extend it to some 20.000 km2.

NEAT resources,( just a few examples):
RADAR systems, -stationary tracking radar, C-band. Mobile tracking radar, X-band and C-band. Mobile impact position radar X-band. Mobile Doppler radar, stationary atmospheric and meteor impact scientific radar. Optical tracking systems: - Cinetheodolite systems - optical tracking platforms, - high speed cameras. GPS systems-mobile differential GPS systems, GPS transponders. Target systems: Remote controlled target drones, towed targets, ground targets remote controlled, fixed ground targets, sea targets remote controlled. For more information:

UAV and UCAV are tested at NEAT. UAV = Unmanned Aerial Vehicles UCAV =
Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles.

Onsala SIGINT- base
Some 40 kilometres, south of Gothenburg, Sweden, between an idyllic cliff beach and a camping place, in Onsala, Rorvik,  you can see 20 huge radar dishes deployed on a meadow. It is the biggest signal-intelligence station in Sweden. "These  installations are for catching the terrorists and listening in on satellites in the northern hemisphere. We have the authority to send information to other counter intelligence services," says the director Jan-Olof Grahn. He is waiting for the law to be passed this year which will admit to listen on cables  at the Swedish borders. These radars are  for listening in on
third world countries. The government, the military and the police are their employer. Source Gothenburg's Independent Newspaper, July 7th 2007


Norway, bordering Russia, is one of  the best equipped aircraft carriers for the US with co-located operation bases from  Sola in the South to Andoya in the North, airfields where  US stores fuel, spare parts and ammunition. In the book, Oncel Sam's rabbits, 1981, Owen Wilkes and Nils Peter Gleditsch,  gave a horrifying picture of
all kinds of  installations in Norway  which served  patrolling US nuclear submarines and a magnitude of radar installations  for control of Soviet Union during the Cold War. We were made to believe  that the SIGINT, SONAR, SOSUS- installations were taken away when the cold war was over. They were not. Instead, in the year 2000, a big radar was installed in Vardo, a few miles outside the Russian border. It was presented by the authorities as a radar for tracking space junk. The Norwegian journalist Inge Sellevag, found out that the radar, originally installed at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, US, and dismantled, had been used in  test programmes for National Missile Defence. The authorities in Norway denied that the radar had any connection or purpose for missile defence.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists March/April 2000.
For Theodor Postol, a professor of science, technology and national security policy at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, there was no doubt what purpose this radar should have. " The location of this radar is ideal for collecting very precise data on Russian missile tests. The Vardo radar can provide critical information for a national missile defence system aimed specifically at Russia. The Vardo radar and the planned radar for Shemya Island at the Aleutians, north of Japan, could, operating together, collect precision radar signature data on virtually every phase of Russian tests of missiles and decoys, within minutes of launch from Plesetsk test range, 150 miles south of the White Sea." In June,2000, Norwegian intelligence agency admitted at last, that moving the radar to Vardo, US intended to use it as a basis for the missile defence radar technology. The Target is Russia, Professor Theodor Postol, Bulletin
of the Atomic Scientists March/April 2000.

Fauske radar.
Not far from Bodo, in northern Norway, the US has a ground base for satellites - Fauske radar station. Similar radar bases were set up in Turkey, Pakistan, Japan in 1962-65.The constructions were sent from California, where Norwegian technicians were educated in how to manage the radar station. The information obtained by the radar should be directly transmitted to the US. The base's main task was to listen in on all Soviet satellites and to get information about Space Program  and their missile defence. The Fauske station was modernised by National Security Agency (NSA) in 1999-2000. No one was told why and for what purpose. It is top-secret. It is difficult to know weather Fauske is a part of National Missile Defence. But as Bruce Gagnon claims, all space programs, inclusive navigation and intelligence installations, are parts of warfare in space. Many, if not all, can be used for military purposes  via dual use.

Svalbard Ground Station.
From their own website:

The ground station at Svalbard is unique because it covers all 14 daily passes of polar orbiting satellites, allowing for a more continuous download of information. At this latitude one station provides complete coverage and two stations are no longer required.

This is the main reason why the Norwegian Space Center (NSC) has established SvalSat at Plataberget, near the town of Longyearbyen. SvalSat is a general purpose station; operating, receiving data and disseminating information from polar orbiting satellites, and will also be capable of tracking sounding rockets and Early Orbit Support for orbital launches. The Svalbard CDA site accommodation and station installation was completed in June 2003. The biggest costumer is NASA. SvalSat has close cooperation with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

Andoya Rocket Range.
An Arctic Cape Canaveral. From their own website:

The Andoya Rocket Range  is the worlds northernmost rocket launch facility. The nearest competitor include Sweden's Esrange and Alaska Poker Flat. For studying physical phenomena in the polar atmosphere, the Aurora Borealis, or northern lights, Andoya is second to none. In  August 2006, Andoya Rocket Range opened its laboratories and research facilities to young people in an European Space Camp. During one week champ 17-24 years old, from throughout Europe, experienced Norway's sole operative space centre, guided by professors, engineers and scientists. "The camp emphasized educational excellence, but it also included unique entertainment, such as a whale safari and seaside bathing under the midnight sun." ARR is a commercial operation that derives its income from national and international tasks.

Galileo station in Antarctica.
In January 2008, Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg inaugurated the Galileo station in Antarctica.

In 2013 Europe introduces its own satellite based navigation system, Galileo. The station will monitor the quality of Galileo's signals. It will be the southernmost of 30 stations in the new navigation system. In his speech at the opening ceremony, the prime minister emphasized that Galileo is Europe's most important project in space, representing considerable business and industry opportunity for the participating countries, both as suppliers for Galileo and for other space projects. "It will ensure the leading position for Norway in the years ahead", Mr. Stoltenberg said at the ceremony at the Norwegian Troll station in the Antarctic. The Galileo station at Troll will, together with a similar station at Svalbard, ensure that the navigation signals are accurate and of premium quality."

You find here Tromso Geophysical Observatory - the Auroral Observatory and the Roald Amundsen Center for Arctic Research. Tromso is also the centre for polar research. The University of  Tromso in cooperation the Norwegian Research Council, is responsible for the Norwegian involvement in EISCAT (European Incoherent Scatter), an organisation for studies of the upper polar atmosphere. The EISCAT-radar facility at Ramfjordmoen and the rocket - launching station on Andoya represent the worlds most important concentration of modern facilities for studies of the polar atmosphere and the Northern Lights. A similar radar station is built in Longyearbyen on Svalbard.Tromso satellite Station (TSS) is a Department of the Norwegian Space Center and a national receiving station for the earth observation satellites NPAA, ERS-1 and JERS-1. Data from these satellites is used for surveillance and monitoring of the Earth's environment and resources.

In Tromso there is also a ultra secret research programme initiated by US Air Force & Navy to develop e new geo-physical weapon named HAARP. It  consists of extreme strong transmitters - ionospheric heaters to project microwaves in the ionosphere. This beam will heat parts of the ionosphere and lift it up.

(Source: Angels Donīt Play this HAARP, Jeane Manning & Nick Begic,1995. Planet Earth, The Latest Weapon of War. Rosalie Bertell,2000.)

The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP), is an investigation project to "understand, simulate and control ionospheric processes that might alter the performance of communication and surveillance systems."

Norway part of National Missile Defence.
In secrecy, Norway has contributed to the development of the most controversial weapon system in the world since launching of the Manhattan Project (Tron Strand, Bergenīs Tidende May,2007). A Norwegian  oil-rig  is used as a platform for the worlds most powerful radar which is essential for  the US Missile Defence. Moss Maritime Company- built the radar platform in Viborg and cashed in millions of dollar - six billion Norwegian kronor- paid by the US. The Norwegian government has declared that they will work for that the missile defence will not be realised. Today the radar oil-rig platform is deployed in Bering Sea.

(Source: Bergens Tidende, paper issue, May 13th 2007)


The Thule Ballistic Missile early Warning Radar System (Thule BMEWS) is located at the Thule Air Base in north-western Greenland. This base was US ear and eyes during the cold war. The US had also nuclear weapons deployed at Thule Air Force Base. The radar is today a key element of the U.S. defence strategy and an essential part of the U.S. missile defence architecture. The larger BMWS radar network includes radars located in Fylingdales, UK and Clear, Alaska. In May 2004, the US and Denmark negotiated a deal to allow Pentagon  to upgrade the Thule BMEWS and use it in a chain of similar installations stretching from Alaska to Australia. The Inuits (indigenous people) fought fiercely against the upgrading of the radar and Russia raised concerns, claiming that it threatened Russian security.

Radars upgraded in  Denmark
According to Bo Elkjaer and Keenan Seabergh in an interview, 2000, the  Danish Armed Forces are expanding its secret surveillance facilities at Skibsbylejren and Aflandshage - two radar bases in Denmark. Duncan Campbell, journalist, UK, sees this as parts of a chain in illegal surveillance together with other participants in the Echelon system. Everything indicates that the large parabolic antennas and  accompanying buildings are used in the same way as the facilities in other countries: to intercept communication from commercial satellites that transmit phone, emails and conversations of ordinary people and forward the intercepted information.

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