Finnish fighter jet broke sound barrier during unspecified operation, air force declines comment

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(Lassi Tolvanen / Yle)
(Lassi Tolvanen / Yle)
The Air Force declined to comment on the reason for the operation, but says that it would have announced immediately if it involved a violation of Finnish airspace.

The Finnish Air Force carried out an operative flight on Thursday during which the sound barrier was broken, says Air Force information officer Joni Malkamäki. This caused a loud sonic boom, which heard at 1.02 pm over a large expanse of Uusimaa region, which includes Helsinki.

”This involved one Hornet fighter jet,” Malkamäki told Yle.

The sonic barrier was breached as the aircraft was flying between the Sipoo and Janakkala areas of southern Finland, before it continued on south toward the Gulf of Finland.

The flight was at an altitude of about 10 kilometres.

“During certain weather conditions, the sound can be heard at a great distance,” said Malkamäki.

Airspace violation?

The Air Force declined to comment on the reason for the operation, but says that it would have announced immediately if it involved a violation of Finnish airspace. Last year there were several incidents when Finnish jets were scrambled in response to suspected airspace intrusions, causing at least two sonic booms — once almost exactly a year ago on May 20, 2014.

Late Thursday morning, the Swedish Air Force dispatched two Jas Gripen fighter jets to carry out surveillance of two Russian Tu-22M bombers’ flight paths over the Baltic Sea, near the island of Öland.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada:  Indigenous leaders warn international community, continued tensions with Russia will harm Arctic, Eye on the Arctic

Denmark:  Nordics to step up security cooperation on perceived Russian threat, Yle News

Finland:  16 Finnish jets join NATO-dominated exercise over Arctic, Yle News

Norway: Norway must ramp up military in response to Russia: report, Barents Observer

Russia: Russian governor praises role of Barents Cooperation, Barents Observer

Sweden: New security landscape in the Arctic, Radio Sweden

United States: U.S. Arctic rep: Russia’s Arctic buildup not necessarily martial, Alaska Public Radio Network

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