Skip to main content

Ruska 17: Finland and Sweden train to fight side by side

The Finnish Air Force, Ilmavoimat, has begun it’s largest exercise of the year, the Ruska 17, today. Exercise focuses on training an integrated air-defense force to fight against an unnamed peer-level adversary. It involves everything from base security and logistics to the advanced command centers and fighter jets.

Finnish F/A-18C and Swedish JAS 39C (photo: Ilmavoimat)

The Ruska 17 will include roughly 5100 conscripts, reservists and professional soldiers, 30 Boeing F/A-18C/D Hornet fighters, 14 BAE Hawk trainers, CASA C-295M transports, Pilatus PC-12NG and Learjet 35 A/S liaison aircrafts from the Finnish Air Force. Additionally the Finnish army will provide some troops and an unspecified number of the NH-90 helicopters.

Most Air Force reservists don't actually fly (photo: Ilmavoimat)

The Swedish Air Force is participating in the annual RUSKA-series of exercises for the second time. In 2016 Swedes operated as an aggressor unit and the two air forces fought each others over the skies of Finland. This year, for the very first time, Swedish Flygvapnet joins the Finnish Ilmavoimat and both train together to defend the Finnish airspace against a hostile air force. Earlier this year the Finnish air force, together with the army and navy, participated in the Swedish Aurora17 exercise.

The Swedish Air Force brings its Saab JAS 39C Gripens to the fight. While the Gripen is an extremely capable aircraft and the sheer number of the fighters Sweden can provide, will allow a much wider fighter coverage than what would be possible with only the 64 Finnish Hornets, the real force multiplier Sweden brings to the table is the Saab 340B AEW&C Aircraft.

Saab 340B with erieye radar (photo: Saab)
The Saab 340B and its Erieye AESA radar can provide information about enemy movements over 400 km away. The enhanced situational awareness gives a defending air force significantly more time to scramble and position it’s fighters for an intercept. The Erieye is a capability that Finland desperately needs, but can’t afford to buy in the foreseeable future.

Both the Finnish and Swedish aircraft will operate from dispersed airfields and at least one road base. The Vieremä road base was established during the Baana 17 exercise last week. Here is a cockpit video from a BAE Hawk doing a touch and go on a highway.



This dispersed fighting style has been a trademark of the Ilmavoimat since the 1930’s and the Flygvapnet has also employed it extensively. Operating so close to a hostile force, that has the ability to attack the air bases with cruise and ballistic missiles it’s imperative to use all available means to enhance the survivability of the combat aircraft and the vital support systems.

The Finnish Air Force has also just sent a request for information (RFI) to seven nations regarding the weapon systems for the successor of the F/A-18 Hornet. At the moment it seems that the competition for the new fighter is on schedule and the air defense of Finland will continue to improve in the future.


Disclaimer: This exercise was scheduled over a year ago and all neighboring nations have been informed about the training area and participating units well before the drill started. Very much unlike the Russian snap drills happening nearly weekly.

Comments

  1. Do you want to know about the military of the US? Then you should visit our site. Because we provide the best news of the military bases. Further, you can know about the different military bases of the US.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Two new divisions for the Russian army

Latest news is that Russia will expand both of the remaining motorized rifle brigades of the 58th Combined Arms Army into full strength divisions. This would mean that the army would have three full divisions of mechanized forces with heavy artillery and missile support. At the same time when the brigades are being upgraded, “Other units of the 58th Army” will be moved from their traditional posts in the Northern Caucasus further into west.

There is no schedule for the transition, but as Chechnya is relatively calm under the iron grip of Kremlins pet attack dog Kadyrov, the already full strength 42nd Motorized Rifle Division, that was expanded in 2016, could begin its relocation at a moments notice.
Not that long ago the Russian armed forces transited largely to a brigade structure, very similar to that of the western armies. Next iteration of this concept were the Battalion Tactical Groups that are agile independent units, with integral indirect fire components and high operational …

A Piece of our family history: the Battle of Petäjäsaari 1940.

As a celebration of the #Finland100 I decided to write about a small but personal piece of Finnish history. A few years ago my mother asked me to find out what exactly happened to her uncle Sulo, who had disappeared during the Second World War. She knew that it had happened at the end of the Winter War in 1940, but nothing else. She gave me his full name, rough time of birth and a copy of his last letter. In that letter he wrote that he had just arrived as fresh reinforcement to a new unit.



Armed with this information I started to dig some archives and uncovered the date of Sulo's demise, only three days after the last letter was dated. The same source revealed the unit he had served in and the place of his disappearance.
Another archive hosted the war diaries of the different Finnish military units, so I dug out the diary of the 6th company of the 35th infantry regiment, that  Sulo had served in. On the very day my great uncles last letter was dated, there is actually a mention …

9000 Tons of Steel: Russian Tank Drills in the Urals

After a flurry of rather disinformative “Tank Carousel” news from Russia the latest reportage from the Russian armed force tank exercise is much more interesting. At the beginning of August the handily named 90th Guards Vitebsk-Novgorod twice Red Banner Tank Division held it’s first divisional sized combat and live fire exercise at Cherbakul in the Chelyabinsk region.
The 90th division, that is stationed in the Sverdlovsk and Chelyabinsk regions, was founded in 2016 and is one of the heaviest hitting Russian formations around. It has a similar structure as the 4th Kantemirovskaya Tank Division that is part of the 1st Guards Tank Army.
The 90th Tank Division consists of the following units: •Headquarters •6th Guards Lvov Tank Regiment  •80th Tank Regiment •239th Guards Tank Regiment •228th Motorized Rifle Regiment •400th Transylvania Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment  •Anti-Aircraft Regiment •30th Separate Reconnaissance Battalion •351st Separate Engineer Sapper Battalion •33rd Separa…