Thursday, August 5, 1993

Observing the Swiss Army's Mountain Defenses from Above

One of the interesting things to see while flying in Switzerland is the way infrastructure has been adapted to the mountainous terrain. This flight focused on military infrastructure, including sensitive storage sites, airfields (including hardened tunnels to shelter fighter aircraft), and dual-use communications facilities in the Valais, one of the most mountainous regions of the country.
(above) Military depot adjacent to Sion Air Base.

(above) Aircraft engine testing facility and adjacent fighter HAS at Sion Air Base.

(above) Military depot near Sion Air Base.

(above) Civilian and military satellite ground station at Leuk. The military "Satos" antenna (top, covered). Several antennas have been added at the facility since this picture was taken, including specialized equipment to run the new "ONYX" signals intelligence system operated by Switzerland's intelligence services. Data is shared with facilities located in Zimmerwald, Heimenschwand and Berne.

(above) Military storage facility (including tunnels) just west of Untere Wehreye.

(above) Military airfield and hardened aircraft tunnels (above far right and next two photos below) at Turtmann (no long an active military base).

(above) Military airstrip at Munster (no long an active military facility).

(above) Military airbase and hardened aircraft tunnels (center/top) at Raron.

(above) Military/civilian communications facility southeast of Visp.

(below) Final approach for Runway 08 at Sion.

Copyright © 1993-2008 A.C. Frieden. No reproduction permitted.