Home » Aviation » Finland: ‘Unusually Intense Russian Air Activity’ Over Baltic

Finland: ‘Unusually Intense Russian Air Activity’ Over Baltic

Undated photo of a Tupolev Tu-95 Bear Bomber. Finnish Defense Forces Photo

Undated photo of a Tupolev Tu-95 Bear Bomber. Finnish Defence Forces Photo

Russian aircraft have stepped up flights over the Baltic Sea to the country’s exclave in Kalliningrad in the last week, according to a Tuesday statement from Finnish Defence Forces.

Finnish Air Force F/A-18 Hornets have intercepted and observed a variety of Russian aircraft, including Tupolev Tu-95 Bear and Tupolev Tu-22M Backfire bombers and Sukhoi Su-34 Fullback, Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker and Mikoyan MiG-31 Foxhound fighters.

“Air activity intensified on December 6 and has continued during the first days of the week. No violations of Finnish airspace have been observed,” read the statement.
“Most Russian packages have departed from bases within Russia’s mainland and headed towards the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, to return via the same general routing.”

Undated photo of two Sukhoi Su-34 Fullback fighters. Finnish Defence Forces Photo

Undated photo of two Sukhoi Su-34 Fullback fighters. Finnish Defence Forces Photo

The aircraft have not violated Finnish air space and the country, “has stepped up the air policing of its airspace and adjusted its identification flight effort to meet the demands. The Air Force has launched F/A-18 Hornets to identify all significant targets,” read the statement.

In August, a Russian Antonov AN-72 transport crossed into Finnish airspace in addition to several other airspace violations.

Since the Russian seizure of Crimea and the subsequent deteriorating relationship with the West, Russian aircraft have been flying more around the world.

Undated photo of two Tupolev+Tu-22M Backfire bombers. Finnish Defense Forces Photo

Undated photo of two Tupolev Tu-22M Backfire bombers. Finnish Defense Forces Photo

“They’re pretty active in the air — their long-range flights and reconnaissance,” U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert said in October.
“They’re probably more active than they’ve been in a decade in that regard. They have operating money, clearly, they are out and about.”

As of October, NATO has had more than 100 intercepts of Russian aircraft in 2014 — three times higher than 2013, U.S. defense official told USNI News at the time.

  • Eli

    No war with Russia.

    • loupgarous

      Neville Chamberlain said “no war with Germany.” See how well that worked?

      • Sand_Cat

        Let’s hope both the Russians and the US are smart enough to avoid that result.

  • Secundius

    Another mocking show of force! Putin’s beating his “man-bra” chest again…

  • OleSalt_1

    Never trust a demigod like Putin. He will use anything in his power to show Russia is on the rise, for domestic and international consumption. The reality is Russia is on the decline as its currency has devalued 40%, and the price of oil which he and his ex-KGB cronies thrive on has fallen tremendously. Importantly, sanctions are working. However, an egotist like Putin may use Russia’s nuclear capability as a bargaining chip if there is a probability that he could be out-stead. Putin can be a very dangerous person as nothing will stand in his way. His main weapon is to put fear into the hearts of his adversaries, just like Stalin.

  • yeahbut

    Yeah but assuming the oil reserves are worthless, may as make use of both it and your old aircraft. If the things you’re lacking are found elsewhere, perhaps use what you have to take it by force… out of desperation. The scenario seems to favour expansionism not the reverse.

    • publius_maximus_III

      Makes sense to me — Can’t get anything for their oil on the world market with all the supply out there right now. Might as well blow it out their rear ends (of their afterburners, don’t you know). I saw gasoline in SC this weekend for $2.09 a gallon.

  • loupgarous

    Since it’s unlikely that Western air forces can generate the number of sorties to entirely contain Russian expansionism, we ought to examine the idea of using the General Atomics “Avenger” (formerly the “Predator C”) drone combat aircraft to leverage Western air power. This aircraft can be used in “swarm” formations to overwhelm enemy air attacks and has solid-state laser capacity to do skin kills on enemy missiles and aircraft, as well as the existing Predator missile launch capability.

    Many of these drones can be purchased for the price of a single manned fighter aircraft. They’re a potential force multiplier that can act in concert with manned fighter aircraft and AWACS aircraft to contain Russian and Chinese expansionism and win any engagements which come up. Because eventually we won’t just be intercepting Russian air formations, we’ll have to kill some.

    • DVader

      I’m afraid you’re about 20 years early on the technology.

  • Waldez

    I can remember when Ric Flair soundly defeated Nikita Koloff, there was never any doubts about who was right or wrong then, our country has slipped.

  • seawolf

    If they enter our territory, be nice if we can strafe these planes with paint ball ammo so when they return to Russia they can see our Art.

  • seawolf

    Check world history Why in the world did President Roosevelt help Russia fight Germany? Russia and Germany were in a Pact conquering and dividing land. Roosevelt did not think of our future. General Patton was right.

    • DVader

      Because Hitler declared war on us and the Russians were already fighting him.