Jas 39
26 Jul 2018

2018 wildfires: Swedish Air Force successfully used fighter jets with bombs to blow out a forest fire


The Swedish Air Force has used the Jas 39 fighter jet to bomb the shooting range north of the Village of Trängslet in an attempt to defeat one of the most complex forest fires around a shooting range full of ammunition.


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Allegedly this emergency measure was taken in order to create a pressure wave to extinguish the fire. The method has proven to be effective, according to the fire service.

"The bomb has had a very good effect on the fire," says fire chief Johan Szymanski at a press conference.

The rescue service has had a problem with the fire at the shooting range in Trängslet, Älvdalen, since it broke out. This is due to the fact that there is heavy caliber ammunition on site, and there has been fear that the ammunition would explode.

The Armed Forces, therefore, have made a bombing over the fire with the help of Jas 39 fighter planes.

It was just before 12 on Wednesday that two Jas 39 flew across the fire zone in the Trängslet, each equipped with a bomb. Shortly thereafter another bomb, a model GBU-49, hit the target.

The bombs wwe dropped from a height of 3,000 meters and the GPS and laser-controlled bombs fell at a speed of 550 kilometers per hour.

The bombs weigh 227 kilos, is GPS and laser controlled and can hit the target with a meter´s precision.

"Outstanding result"

"Without doing an in-depth analysis, we can see that one bomb in particular has had a very good effect on the fire, and that fires of 100 meters have been extinguished," says Johan Szymanski during the press conference, continuing:

- There is no increased intensity of fires elsewhere after the bomb has been released.

The fire chief describes the fighter jets and their bombing capability as a good tool  in this kind of extreme situation.

Urban Molin, insider of the Armed Forces, also said that the attempt had been "extremely good".
Rubbar sour

In order for a fire to exist, oxygen, heat and a combustible substance are required.

During the rescue efforts, a lot of water has been used, but eventually they decided to test something new and "unconventional".

The reason that they chose to use a bomb is because the huge pressure wave generated when the bomb is released disturns the oxygen supply to the fire.