The Finnish Air Force Has Just Released Some Really Cool Photos Of Russian Combat Aircraft Intercepted Over The Baltic

Beriev A-50, Ilyushin Il-22, Sukhoi Su-24, Sukhoi Su-27, Sukhoi Su-34 and Tupolev Tu-160 aircraft, were photographed by the Finnish Hornets. First appearance of a Blackjack over the Baltic.

The Finnish Air Force has been quite busy lately intercepting and escorting Russian military aircraft flying in international airspace, over the Gulf of Finland and the Baltic Sea, in the vicinity of Finland’s airspace.

For instance, on June 14 and 15, several air assets, including Beriev A-50, Ilyushin Il-22, Sukhoi Su-24, Sukhoi Su-27, Sukhoi Su-34 and Tupolev Tu-160 aircraft, flew close to the Finnish airspace, forcing the Finnish Air Force to scramble its F/A-18 Hornet on QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) in order to intercept the Russian aircraft.

The photographs in this post were taken by the Finnish F/A-18 pilots during such intercept missions.

Beriev A-50 (Finnish Air Force)
An Il-22 escorted by a Su-27 Flanker (Finnish Air Force)
A pair of Fencers shadowed by a Finnish F/A-18 Hornet (Finnish Air Force)
A two-seater Flanker (Finnish Air Force)
A Su-34 Fullback (Finnish Air Force)




About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. on another note an interesting sortie. Obviously they were practising an attack on Finland. But why would the AWACS fly so close to the strike package and why would the escort be so close to it as well?

    Shouldn’t the escort be flying ahead whilst the AWACS hangs back, whilst the jamming IL-18 ensures that the bombers can’t be targeted.

    • These pictures are not all from the same day. This was not a coordinated attack exercise with all those assets. The AWACS for example flew on its own on a recon/ELINT mission.

  2. Those pilots seem to take huge zooms into their tiny cockpitts… pictures appear to be shot from distance we can see the plane blurred by the distance, whereas the air is really thon at those altitudes

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