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Roboten medium.jpg
Vidsel is located in Norrbotten
Vidsel is located in Sweden
Coordinates: 65°50′N 20°31′E / 65.833°N 20.517°E / 65.833; 20.517Coordinates: 65°50′N 20°31′E / 65.833°N 20.517°E / 65.833; 20.517
CountyNorrbotten County
MunicipalityÄlvsbyn Municipality
 • Total0.74 km2 (0.29 sq mi)
 (31 December 2010)[1]
 • Total533
 • Density719/km2 (1,860/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)

Vidsel (Swedish pronunciation: [²viːdseːl])[2] is a locality situated in Älvsbyn Municipality, Norrbotten County, Sweden with 533 inhabitants in 2010.[1] It is situated about 900 km north of Stockholm, Sweden, in the Arctic Circle; Perhaps its earliest history is as a seasonal settlement, but permanent inhabitants have lived here since the 19th century.

The town was mainly founded in the 1950s, because of "Robotförsöksplats Norr" (RFN) (Missile Test Area North)/Vidsel Test Range. The range forms part of the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) Testing Directorate, which is responsible for the verification of systems procured for the Swedish Armed Forces.

RFN is the largest overland test range in Western Europe, consisting of 1,650 km² of uninhabited forest and marshland, which can be extended by 1,500 km² if required. The installation includes a military base with a 2,300 m runway. Because of its usage as a Swedish and European missile test site, this remote area is often listed in international weather forecasts and maps.

The site has been a test area for most Swedish flight developments, including Draken, Viggen and Gripen.


  1. ^ a b c "Tätorternas landareal, folkmängd och invånare per km2 2005 och 2010" (in Swedish). Statistics Sweden. 14 December 2011. Archived from the original on 27 January 2012. Retrieved 10 January 2012.
  2. ^ Jöran Sahlgren; Gösta Bergman (1979). Svenska ortnamn med uttalsuppgifter (in Swedish). p. 27.

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