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Scandinavia Today / Sweden


Provocation of just mistaken stray as Russian fighter plane practicing attack against Sweden

Monday, 22 April 2013

Russian bomber and fighter jets trained at Gotska Sandön 3-4 km outside Swedish territorial waters for a long time on Friday night. Sweden is supposed to be prepared with at least two of its own Gripens fighter jets to counter and identify foreign flying objects like these, but none was ready. Instead, NATO planes turn out to be our saviour. This events has so far been kept secret for all this while.

According to Swedish media reports, the Russians have been carrying out exercises around the Baltic Sea, during the Easter period just like in the past. In the long Friday night, six planes appeared brightly on the Swedish radar and they were foreign objects. The Russians came surprisingly in the middle of the night when Sweden lacked preparedness. Some Swedish officials feel that his is very embarrassing and it exposes the Swedish people to danger, also showing that there is the lack of safety and protection of the land from foreign invaders.

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Swedish fighter jet Gripen img/scancomark/file

The Russian fighter jets are reported to have come from Saint Petersburg area, crossed the Gulf and continued past the east of the archipelago, 3-4 km outside Swedish territorial waters, writes Swedish daily, Svenska Dagbladet.

The core of the Russian jets were two heavy bomber Tu-22M3, which NATO called Backfire. They have four man crew and can carry cruise missiles and nuclear weapons. The bomber was protected by four-advanced Russian fighter type Su-27, NATO designation Flanker.

"I can confirm that there were two bombers - Tu-22 with fighter escort of Su-27 planes. They remained in the international airspace at Gotska Sandön and implemented some form of exercise. Then they turn back the way they had come," said Lieutenant-General, Anders Silwer, of the Swedish Armed Forces to the paper.

According to the decision by the Swedish parliament for the preparedness against violations of Swedish territorial integrity, "immediately available" resources are expected to be ready for reaction. This means that Sweden should have at least two of its own fighter jets, the JAS Gripen aircraft ready to identify foreign flying objects. But the Armed Forces had no Swedish plane available to go up and check who was flying closer than expected. Instead, NATO planes rushed to the area and reacted robustly, according to the reports.

"Normally we have good preparedness," said Anders Silwer.

NATO always keeps a 24 hour hunting preparedness in the Baltic. The alarm went off at an air base in Lithuania and two Danish F-16 took off immediately. They did not catch up with the Russian planes but spotted them from a distance.

According to a source with deep knowledge of emergency preparedness which Svenska Dagbladet spoke to,  the Swedish preparedness would have been raised as soon as the Russian planes were seen on the radar.

The idea of incident preparedness is to show the other states that "we see you, we can meet you, we have an eye on you." However, it looks like we have no contingency and track. "It is serious," the source said, according to the paper.

by Team

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