Aurora 17 – Spotting firearms at Sweden’s largest military exercise for over 20 years

    During September 2017 there is a large Military exercise in Sweden called Aurora 17.

    It’s the largest Swedish military exercise in over 20 years, and there are a lot of awesome photos and videos in the media stream.

    Almost 20 000 soldiers from the Swedish Armed Forces, in addition to personnel from a number of authorities and military units from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Lithuania, Norway and the USA are present.

    Sweden is a neutral country, and not a member of NATO.

    Aurora 17’s main exercise areas will be the Maelardalen and Stockholm areas, on and around Gotland, and the Gothenburg area.

    The mission is to build a stronger defense and increase the overall capability to face an attack on Sweden.

    The Swedish Supreme Commander Mr. Micael Bydén arrived to the Tofta shooting range in an American Chinook helicopter. Tofta is located in the island of Gotland, in the middle of the Baltic sea.

    Source to one SVT (Swedish National TV) video here:

    For instance you can see some American attack helicopters, with American pilots. Sweden do not have these, for sure!

    Source to SVT Video: (Foto: Patrik Widegren/SVT)

    In the video you can hear the Supreme Commander say that the exercise exceeds his expectations.

    As the party exits the Chinook you can spot some soldiers with Ak5 (FN FNC). But you can also see a soldier, probably the bodyguard, with a Heckler & Koch 416.

    Below: HK416 to the left, Ak5 to the right. Glock 17 in the middle.

    It looks like the HK416 has an EOTech with a Magnifier. Normally the AK5Cs have Aimpoints.

    I’m not sure, but the magnifier looks more like Aimpoints, or what do you say? It’s not the EOTech G33 magnifier anyway. Interesting combination.

    I wonder if he has a Benchmade SOCP Spear-point in his carrier, to the right?

    So what’s the big news? Well the HK416 is not an official firearm in the Swedish Army, but apparently they have it. It might be one of the contenders as the Ak5 will be phased out.


    There was also a high resolution picture posted on The Swedish Armed Forces homepage.

    Another HK416, Magpuls, Surefire flashlight and what looks to be a FAB Defense butt stock. Individualization!

    Again we see the Benchmade SOCP dagger in the vest. TFB ran a Photo Of The Day of this dagger earliers, looks very nice.

    Jimmy Croona/Försvarsmakten

    It has the short HK Slim line handguard with HKey mounting slots.


    They also have the LWRCI and the HK MP7, as used by the SOG, and revealed by TFB for the first time.


    Picture from SVT (TV)

    The Supreme Commander carries a Glock 17, or Pistol 88 as it’s called in the Swedish Army. Here he stands in front of US Marines. Photo via

    Below: Stridsvagn 122 (Leopard 2) passing a bridge at Ekolsund outside Stockholm.

    Jimmy Croona/Försvarsmakten


    Some more information about Aurora 17 below:

    In order to increase military capabilities, Swedish Armed Forces will conduct Exercise Aurora 17 – a national exercise that will build a stronger defense and increase the overall capability to face an attack on Sweden.

    The overarching mission of the Swedish Armed Forces is to defend the country´s interests, our freedom and the right to live the way of our choice.

    Deterrence lies at the core of a strong defence, one that rises to all threats and overcomes all challenges. It is designed to deter potential attackers, and force them to carefully consider the risks of attacking our country. For a deterrent to be effective, it needs to be credible and visible. Through frequent and extensive training and exercise, especially with other defence forces, Sweden is strengthening its deterrence effect and makes it more credible.

    Aurora 17 will be conducted in the air, on land and at sea. Units from all over Sweden will be involved, but the main exercise areas will be the Mälardalen and Stockholm areas, on and around Gotland, and the Gothenburg area.

    The Exercise will contribute to the development of Sweden’s total defence capabilities. Therefore, it is planned that around 40 other agencies will participate. In addition, in order to have as good an exercise as possible, and at the same time exercise Sweden’s defence capability against a larger, sophisticated opponent, other countries have been invited to participate in Aurora 17.

    Below: Stridsfordon 90 (Strf 90) or Combat Vehicle 90 outside of Stockholm, Sweden.

    You can check out the Greetings from the Commander of the Finnish Army below, with some Valmets:

    I also spotted some FAMAS rifles from some French soldiers.

    Thanks to “Cornucopia” for noticing the HK416.

    Reminding you, we have seen a similar picture before.

    When Sweden’s Prince Carl Philip visited the Swedish UN Force in Mali, called Camp Nobel, there was a bodyguard with a HK G36C around.

    Check it out here:

    Eric B

    Ex-Arctic Ranger. Competitive practical shooter and hunter with a European focus. Always ready to increase my collection of modern semi-automatics, optics and sound suppressors. TCCC Certified medic.