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Denmark to 'close surveillance gap' with new Faroe Islands radar

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Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
Denmark to 'close surveillance gap' with new Faroe Islands radar
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen during a visit to the Faroe Islands on June 8th. Photo: Ida Marie Odgaard/Ritzau Scanpix

Denmark and the Faroe Islands announced on Thursday installation of a new radar which they said would improve surveillance coverage of Faroese airspace.

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Danish Minister of Defence Morten Bødskov signed an agreement over the air warning radar with Faroese counterpart Jenis av Rana during a visit to the Faroe Islands, an autonomous territory of Denmark, on Thursday.

“We are looking at a forthcoming time with increased activity. Much of the Russian military is currently concentrated on Ukraine, but there is no doubt that we will see increased activity in our region,” Bødskov said.

A previous radar installation on the Faroe Islands was removed in 2007, leaving a gap in radar coverage in the territory’s airspace.

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The new radar is expected to be located at Sornfelli, a site where a radar has previously stood. It is expected to take five years to install.

Defence alliance Nato currently does not have a full picture of flight traffic from the northern part of Great Britain towards the Faroe Islands, Iceland and southern parts of Greenland.

“There has been a gap, and it must be closed. The new security situation in Europe is also an important reason for it becoming more relevant to close that gap,” Bødskov earlier said in reference to the war in Ukraine.

The radar is part of an Arctic spending plan passed by the Danish parliament in February. That agreement required Faroese permission for the radar to be built.

Several politicians in the Faroe Islands’ Lagtinget parliament have however accused Copenhagen of making the decision without them.

That resulted in extensive Faroese discussion of the matter before Bødskov was eventually given the go-ahead.

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