The Ruska 2016 drills start just few days after neighboring Russia reportedly conducted two airspace violations.
The exercise includes more than 50 aircrafts and about 2,600 personnel and is the biggest tactical drills of the Finnish Air Force in 2016. The objective is to train the components of Finland’s air defense system in complex operational scenarios, the country’s Air Force informs.
Also six Swedish Gripen fighter jets are taking part in the training. The exercise area includes major parts of central-western Finland, as well as border areas on the Swedish side.
Among the Finnish aircrafts will be about 30 Hornet multirole fighters, 15 Hawk jet trainers and a number of light and medium transports. Support will be provided by NH90 helicopters from the Army Aviation.
Key bases for the Ruska 2016 are at Tikkakoski and Rovaniemi, as well as to the airports of Oulunsalo, Kajaani, Kuusamo, and Kokkola-Pietarsaari.
The drills, which started on 10th October, come just four days after the Finnish Air Force reported two cases of Russian airspace violations over the Gulf of Finland.
Related stories from around the North:
Canada: Canada’s defence review and the Arctic, Eye on the Arctic
Denmark: Nordics to step up security cooperation on perceived Russian threat, Yle News
Finland: Three soldiers injured in during military exercise in Arctic Finland, Yle News
Norway: Norway calls snap military drill in Arctic, after Russian announcement, The Independent Barents Observer
Russia: Russian navy will hide entire Arctic town in giant fake fog screen, The Independent Barents Observer
Sweden: New security landscape in the Arctic, Radio Sweden
United States: U.S. general says Alaska military cuts not final without Arctic plan, Alaska Public Radio Network