This armed Russian Su-27 Flanker has (probably) violated the Finnish airspace today

Oct 06 2016 - 12 Comments

The Finnish Ministry of Defense has released a photo of an armed Russian Flanker that possibly violated Finland’s sovereign airspace.

In the last few years we have reported several close encounters between Russian and NATO or allied aircraft in the Baltic region.

However, all these encounters occurred more or less in accordance with a standard “script”: the Russian aircraft, approaching or skirting some sovereign airspace, caused the fighter jets in QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) to scramble to perform a VID (Visual Identification) and take some cool shots like those we have published here in the past.

And, above all, the Russians almost always remained in international airspace.

Until today.

Here’s the official statement of the Finnish Ministry of Defense:

A possible violation of Finnish airspace by a Russian SU-27 fighter has been detected in the Gulf of Finland south of Porvoo on Thursday October 6th at about 16.43 pm.

The suspected violation of Finnish airspace continued approximately one minute, and sided Finnish airspace for about 13 kilometers at a maximum of about one kilometer depth.

The Air Force conducted an identification flight.

The Finnish Border Guard will investigate the matter.

The “possible violation” must have been determined by means of primary radar returns and probably occurred before the Su-27 was intercepted by the Finnish F/A-18 Hornets.

Although close encounters with “Ivan” are nothing special, a real airspace violation is something much more rare (and interesting.)

Image credit: Finnish Ministry of Defense.