European Air Power


European Air Power

Challenges and Opportunities

Edited and with an introduction by John Andreas Olsen

344 pages
48 photographs, 1 table, 1 figure


July 2014


$34.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

July 2014


$34.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

European Air Power examines the current state of eight separate European air forces and their prospective air power capabilities in a manner that will appeal to a wide audience of air force enthusiasts. Included are perspectives from independent air power experts reviewing the air forces of France, Germany, Turkey, and Great Britain as well as from the leaders of the air forces of the Nordic nations, including Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland. 

Within the national security framework of threats and challenges, and against the seemingly universal backdrop of lower budgets for defense, the contributors present varying views on the types of air power capability a state should have and those it does not need. The contributors consider each air force separately and how each is structured to remain sustainable and efficient in accordance with its national strategic infrastructure.

Author Bio

COL. JOHN ANDREAS OLSEN is currently assigned to the Norwegian Ministry of Defence and is a visiting professor of operational art and tactics at the Swedish National Defence College. His previous publications with Potomac Books include John Warden and the Renaissance of American Air Power,A History of Air Warfare,Global Air Power, and Air Commanders.


"Every air power historian as well as those involved in the deciding the future of air power acquisitions will gather incredible insights from the difficult decisions these medium and small air power nations have made and will need to make in the future."—Mel Deaile, Journal of Strategic Security

“Col. Professor John Olsen has done a great service to all serious students of air power by bringing together the thoughts, perspectives, and opinions of air force leaders and other air power experts of the early twenty-first century. Whether we agree with the different positions or not, we need to understand the arguments as we make our own decisions going forward.”—Gen. Joseph Ralston (Ret.), USAF, former supreme allied commander Europe, NATO

“An interesting and provocative exploration of the roots, the present, and the future of European air forces. . . . John Andreas Olsen brilliantly manages to bring together expert analysis and diverse views that provide stimulating food for thought about how we might learn from the past and shape our air forces for the future. A great read.”—Gen. Denis Mercier, chief of staff, French Air Force

“With the geo-political shift of the United States’ interest towards Asia-Pacific, John Olsen presents a timely analysis of the implications for European air forces which seek to understand their contributions to national defence and security objectives, often in the context of alliances and partnerships. His deliberate emphasis on the need to cultivate the intellectual acumen of airmen is well made and lies at the heart of developing and delivering relevant air power for the Royal Air Force and, indeed, for all air forces. I commend it to you.”—Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford, chief of staff, Royal Air Force

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Prologue: The Fighter Pilot
Jostein Grønflaten


Introduction: The Air Option
John Andreas Olsen

List of Abbreviations

Part 1. European Air Powers

1. French Air Power: Effectiveness through Constraints
Etienne de Durand

2. German Air Power: Ready to Participate in Joint and Combined Operations 
Holger H. Mey

3. Turkish Air Power: Toward Full-Spectrum Aerospace Forces
Christian F. Anrig

4. British Air Power: Allowing the UK to Punch above Its Weight 
Peter W. Gray

Part 2. Nordic Air Powers

5. Norwegian Air Power: Staying Relevant in a New Era
Finn Kristian Hannestad

6. Danish Air Power: From the Cold War to Contemporary Air Operations
Henrik Røboe Dam

7. Swedish Air Power: Delivering Independently, Joint, and Combined
Micael Bydén

8. Finnish Air Power: In Defense of the Homeland
Lauri Tapio Puranen

Part 3. Reflections: Where Do We Go from Here?

9. Approaching the End?
Martin van Creveld

10. The Response to Uncertainty
R. A. Mason


Selected Bibliography



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