Military Review

Suomi's country's air defenses (part 5)

21



The position of Finland after the release of World War II turned out to be very difficult. The Finnish people paid dearly for the adventurism and short-sightedness of their rulers. Around 86000, the Finns died in an armed confrontation with the Soviet Union, industry, agriculture and transport fell into decline. According to the Paris Peace Treaty concluded in 1947, the country had to pay about $ 300 million as compensation for damage caused by the actions of the Finnish troops in the USSR. Nevertheless, Finland, albeit in difficult situation, managed to maintain political and economic independence .

After the conclusion of the peace agreement, Finland was forbidden to have offensive weapons, missiles and more 60 combat aircraft. In the first post-war years, piston fighters maintained during the war remained in service. At the start of the 50, restrictions on the purchase of modern combat aircraft were relaxed. And in 1954, the De Havilland DH100 Vampire Mk.52 jet fighters entered the Air Force. In total, the Finnish Air Force received 6 single and 9 training jet vehicles.

Suomi's country's air defenses (part 5)

De Havilland DH100 Vampire Mk.52 Finnish Air Force


However, it was impossible to consider these British-made aircraft as modern in the middle of the 50-s. The first Vampire fighters entered service with the RAF at the start of the 1946 of the year. This fighter, built according to the archaic two-beam scheme, developed a 882 km / h speed in horizontal flight and was armed with four 20-mm guns and, according to its flight data, was not much superior to WWII piston fighters. In the USSR, at this time, thousands of copies were built jet MiG-15, MiG-17 and launched into a series of supersonic MiG-19. It is clear that the Finnish "Vampires" could in no way compete with the Soviet fighters, but this was not what was required of them. Light and simple "Vampires" helped to accumulate the necessary experience in operating jet aircraft, train pilots and ground personnel, their service in Finland as training aircraft continued until 1965.

In 1958, the first Folland Gnat Mk.1 light interceptors were delivered to Finland. For that time, it was a fairly modern combat aircraft, which developed a speed of 1120 km / h in horizontal flight. The Gnat fighter (Eng. Komar) combined good flight data with low cost. With a maximum take-off mass of 3 950 kg, the fighter could take off from a strip of 300 meters in length and be in the air for more than 2 hours. Among the Finnish pilots the plane was very popular. Fighters demonstrated high reliability even in extremely cold temperatures in northern Finland. The built-in armament consisted of two ADEN 30 mm cannons. Eighteen 80 mm HAP Hispano HSS-R could be suspended to fight enemy bombers.


Folland Gnat Mk.1 Finnish Air Force


Initially, the Finns expressed a desire to establish a licensed production of "Komarov", but later decided that "the game is not worth the candle," because it would be too expensive to contain more than 20 units. In addition, the military wanted to get a supersonic fighter. As a result, the Finns, constrained in their means, bought the entire British-made 13 aircraft - for one squadron. Already after 10, the fighter was considered obsolete for years, due to the lack of radar onboard, the search for an aerial target was carried out visually or by commands from the ground-based radar. There were no guided missiles in the ammunition, and the subsonic flight speed did not allow to quickly take up an advantageous position for interception. The last “Mosquitoes” were written off in Finland in 1972 year.

The Finns learned very well the lessons of the armed confrontation with the USSR and therefore, after the end of the Second World War, they tried to maintain friendly relations with their giant eastern neighbor. Finland distanced itself from the NATO bloc and pursued a policy of neutrality. In 1948, the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance was concluded with the USSR. The key provision of the Treaty was the establishment of cooperation between the two countries in the field of defense in the event of "military aggression by Germany or any union state with it." This concerned both the FRG and the NATO countries, as well as the GDR and the Warsaw Pact. At the same time, Finland retained a certain sovereignty in defense matters, since joint military actions would be carried out only after bilateral consultations. The contract was extended three times and was valid until the 1992 year. After removing the restrictions on the acquisition of modern weapons abroad, the Finns tried to diversify the purchase of military equipment, purchasing weapon, both in the countries of western orientation, and in neutral Sweden and in the USSR.

The first Soviet-made aircraft, delivered in the 1962 year, were used training MiG-XNUMHUTIs. It was at this time that the Soviet and Finnish representatives were negotiating the supply of fighters, and the Finns needed airplanes on which to train and train according to Soviet standards.


MiG-XNUMHUTI Air Force of Finland


Initially, the USSR offered Finland relatively simple and inexpensive MiG-17F, and later MiG-19. However, by the beginning of the 60s, the MiG-17 subsonic fighters could no longer be considered the last word of technology, although there were many of them in the Soviet Air Force and Warsaw Pact countries. MiG-19 Finns rejected based on the fact that they received information about a large number of flight incidents with his participation. As a result, the parties were able to conclude a contract for the supply of the newest supersonic MiG-21F-13 fighter jets.


MiG-21F-13 Finnish Air Force


Despite the fact that the United States, France and the United Kingdom strongly opposed the purchase of weapons and military equipment in the USSR, within the framework of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, the Soviet leadership took an unprecedented step, selling fighters to the capitalist country, which had only just begun to enter their own Air Force Before deliveries of the MiG-21F-13 began, the British were actively proposing their English Electric Lightning interceptor.

To begin with, the 60-ies MiG-21F-13 had excellent flight data. The aircraft with a maximum take-off weight of 8 315 kg was armed with one built-in 30-mm HP-30 gun and two K-13 melee UR. In addition, 32 NAR APC-57М could be used in the UB-16-57 suspension units for hitting air targets. At high altitude in horizontal flight, the aircraft accelerated to 2125 km / h and had a practical range without PTB 1300 km.

With 1963, the Finnish Air Force received an 22 fighter MiG-21F-13. Soon they were added two "Sparky" MiG-21U. Since the resource of combat vehicles tried to save, the load on the two-seater was very large and they were written off after 15 years. In the 1974 year, four two-seater MiG-21UM were delivered, flying up to the 1998 year.


MiG-21F-13 in the exposition of the Finnish Aviation Museum


For all its merits, the MiG-21F-13 had a very simple avionics and was mainly intended for daytime flights. At the same time, the Finns needed an interceptor capable of operating around the clock, equipped with a full radar.

In June 1971 of the year between Finland and Sweden was signed the lease agreement 6 fighters Saab J35В Draken. The regular flights of the first Drakens in Finland began in the first half of 1972. The aircraft have proven themselves positive, and in 1976, they were bought out. At the same time, an additional batch was purchased from 6 Saab 35C Draken. In the Finnish Air Force, the Swedish Drakens replaced the outdated British light interceptors Gnat Mk.1.


Saab 35 Draken Finnish Air Force


In 1984, the 24 fighter version of the Saab 35F Draken modification was additionally purchased. The Drakens were operated by the Finnish Air Force in conjunction with the MiG-21, the last Swedish-made fighter aircraft were written off in the 2000 year.



Compared with the Soviet MiG-21, the Drakens equipped with more advanced radars were more suitable for controlling the country's airspace. This fighter was originally designed for use as an interceptor, and according to the capabilities of the onboard equipment, in the 70-ies was one of the best. The fighters delivered from Sweden were equipped with perfect avionics, including integrated navigation, target designation and weapon control systems. The built-in data transmission system combined with the STRIL-60 semi-automatic airspace survey system, the Saab AB FH-5 autopilot with the Arenko Electronics air parameters calculator and the Saab AB S7B sight, provided the use of guided missiles Rb.27 and Rb.28 on colliding courses. The Rb 27 and Rb 28 rockets were licensed Swedish versions of the American AIM-4 Falcon with semi-active radar and infrared homing systems. On the Saab J35В and Saab J35С versions, the built-in armament consisted of ADEN 30-mm guns. On the Saab 35F model, one gun was cut to accommodate additional electronic systems. The fighter with a maximum take-off weight of 16 000 kg had a range of flight from PTB 3250 km. Maximum speed at high altitude - 2,2M. For takeoff, a strip of at least 800 meters in length was required.

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With greater interception capabilities compared with the MiG-21F-13 at night and in adverse weather conditions, the Drakens were much more expensive, had a high operating cost and required more qualified service. Taking into account the positive experience of using the MiG-21F-13, the Finns expressed a desire to acquire the most advanced of the “twenty first” family - the MiG-21bis. Compared with earlier models, with a general aerodynamic scheme and external similarity, it was, in fact, the next generation fighter, equipped with a fairly sophisticated avionics and new P-60 melee missiles. Thanks to the improved internal layout and the P25-300 engine with 7100 kgf takeoff thrust, the thrust-to-weight ratio was significantly increased. The composition of the onboard equipment of the aircraft included the radar sight "Sapphire-21". In the form of equipment for air combat, the fighter’s weapons included a built-in 23-mm gun GSH-23L and up to 6 air-to-air missiles. With a maximum take-off weight of 9140 kg, the fitting range without PTB is 1 225 km. Maximum speed at high altitude - 2,05M.


MiG-21bis Finnish Air Force


The first two "Bisa" in the Finnish Air Force arrived in 1978 year. The next batch of 18 machines was transferred to 1980 year. MiG-21bis for a long period of time were the most flying Finnish fighters. In the class of single-engine light fighter, this aircraft at the time was one of the best, combining good combat and flight data with a low price and acceptable operating costs.

Finnish pilots quickly mastered the "bis" and loved this car. The aircraft had a rather high potential, but since the Finnish Air Force did not have an interceptor capable of fighting high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft and balloons flying at an altitude of more than 20 km, they tried to adapt MiG-21bis for this. At the passport practical “ceiling” of 17800 meters, the Finns made more than 20 flights at a height higher than 20000 meters. The absolute record for flight altitude in the Finnish Air Force belongs to test pilot Jirka Lokkanen, who reached the 21500 ceiling meters. MiG-21bis is still the only "two-winged" Finnish aircraft.

Compared with the Soviet Air Force, where fighter jets, as a rule, were operated unchanged throughout its entire service life, in Finland, a number of improvements and improvements were made to the bis. So, Finnish MiGs received connected equipment of western production and a new navigation system. Also introduced a number of improvements to facilitate operation.

According to the testimony of domestic aviation specialists, due to the relatively small number of Finnish combat aviation, the care and maintenance of the "encores" were much better than in the USSR Air Force. That had a beneficial effect on the reliability and resource of fighters. When concluding an agreement on the supply of MiG-21bis to Finland, the Soviet side set a condition according to which it was forbidden to acquaint third countries with the composition of weapons, characteristics of the radar sight and the internal arrangement of the cockpit. It is worth noting that the Finns strictly observed this condition, not allowing foreign correspondents to photograph the cabin from the inside, even in the second half of the 90s. Although in the Russian Air Force at that time there were no more "encores" in the combat aviation regiments.

The latest MiG-21bis in Finland were removed from service in 1998. Over the years of 20 operation in flight accidents, the 6 MiG-21 was lost. Nevertheless, a significant part of the Finnish MiGs at the time of decommissioning was in very good technical condition. These fighters, with proper care, could also be used in the 21 century.


MiG-21bis in the exhibition Karelia Aviation Museum


At present, in Finland, 21 MiG-21 of various modifications has been preserved in the expositions of three aviation museums and memorial exhibition complexes. One MiG-21bis is in the flying state, this machine regularly takes part in various airshows taking place both in Finland and abroad.

After the collapse of the USSR and the change in the alignment of forces in the world, the leadership of Finland no longer considered it necessary to maintain trusting relations with Russia and preferred to drift towards the United States. This inevitably affected the procurement of military equipment and weapons. The Finns refused the proposed Russian-made 4 fighter jets, preferring the American ones. However, Finland has never completely abandoned Western weapons. In December 1977 of the year, an order was issued for the 50 combat / combat BAE Systems Hawk Mc 51. The delivery of the aircraft began in 1980 and ended in 1985 year.

Twin single-engine aircraft with a maximum take-off weight of 5 700 kg has a maximum horizontal flight speed of 1 040 km / h and can be used as an attack aircraft and to combat air targets at low altitudes. In the Finnish Air Force, the Hoki are considered as a means of countering UAVs and combat helicopters, as well as interceptors for forcing low-speed light aircraft to land. The armament of the Finnish Hawk Mk 51A includes ADEN 30-mm air cannon, AIM-9P melee UR and AIM-9J. In addition, Soviet P-80 missiles delivered with MiG-60bis were adapted for these aircraft in the middle of the 21's.


Hawk Mk 51A Finnish Air Force


In the 90-ies of the aircraft underwent major repairs and upgrades, after which they began to be designated as Hawk Mk 51A. For replacement of worn-out cars in Switzerland for € 41 million purchased 18 upgraded Hawk Mk 66. Aircraft entered the Finnish squadron in 2011 year. Upgraded Hokes can still fly for 15 years. As of 2016, the Finnish Air Force had a flying state of 16 Mk 66, 7 Mk 51A and 1 Mk 51.

Soon after the collapse of the USSR, the Finns began negotiations on the purchase of McDonnell Douglas F / A-18 Hornet fighter jets in the United States. If the Soviet Union had not ceased to exist, the fighter of the new generation of the Finnish Air Force would most likely be the MiG-29. The first Hornets arrived at the end of 1995. A total of X-NUMX single-seat F-57C and 18 two-seat F-7D were ordered. The latest 18 single-seater machines are assembled at the Finnish company Patria Oy in 12 from American components. Among the European countries that purchased fighters in the US, in addition to Finland, the “Hornets” are in service only in the Spanish and Swiss air forces. Most of the American allies in Europe preferred the F-2000 Fighting Falcon. Compared with the lighter single-engine “Attacking Falcon”, the twin-engine “Hornet” has a lower maximum speed - 16 1 km / h at an altitude of 915 meters. At the same time, a heavier fighter with a maximum take-off weight of 12000 kg has a greater range. With full refueling and outboard fuel tanks, the aircraft can cover 23540 km. In the air combat variant, Finnish Air Force fighters carry AIM-3300 AMRAAM and AIM-120 Sidewinder missiles. Built-in weapons - 9-mm gun M20 Vulcan.


F-18C Finnish Air Force


In general, the Finnish F-18C / D are similar to aircraft in service in the United States. But the Finnish Air Force fighters were originally designed exclusively for air defense tasks and gaining air superiority, and for political reasons did not carry strike weapons. But in November, 2011, the US Congress approved the sale of AGM-158 JASSM and AGM-154 JSOW cruise missiles, JDAM guided bombs, and sighting and search containers.

The Finnish F-18C / D has been upgraded twice, from 2004 to 2010 a year and from 2012 to 2016 a year. During the first modernization, the aircraft received new communications and navigation systems, LCD displays appeared in the cockpits, and new AIM-9X melee missiles were included in the armament. During the second stage of the update, the Hornets installed the NATO data exchange equipment standard MIDS 16 Link, a new radar exposure warning system AN / ALR-67. The armament set has been supplemented with a new modification of the UM of the medium range AIM-120С-7.



According to the Military Balance 2016, in Finland are armed 54 F-18C and 7 F-18D. They are based on the airfields of Rovaniemi, Tampere and Kuopio. There are also the headquarters of the territorial command of the Air Force and Air Defense: Lapland, Satakunt and Karelian. The headquarters of the Air Force is located at Tikkakoski air base. According to forecasts, the Finnish "Hornets" may remain in service until the 2030 year, but now they are beginning to look for a replacement. The fighters Dassault Rafale, Jas 39E Gripen NG or F-35A Lightning II are considered as possible candidates.

To be continued ...

Based on:
http://www.airwar.ru/enc/fighter/mig21f13.html
http://e-libra.su/read/217794-aviaciya-i-kosmonavtika-1997-11-12.html
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/94153448442660897/
http://www.aef.se/Flygvapnet/Notiser/RB27_och_RB28_Notis.htm
Author:
Articles from this series:
Suomi Country Air Defense (Part 1)
Suomi Country Air Defense (Part 2)
Suomi Country Air Defense (Part 3)
Suomi's country's air defenses (part 4)
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  1. irazum
    irazum 31 July 2017 06: 26
    +1
    Finns hold their nose in the wind.
  2. Pecheneg
    Pecheneg 31 July 2017 06: 33
    +3
    Finland is one of the few Western countries that looks at relations with Russia a little more realistic and pragmatically. All the same, she is more interested in economic issues than politics.
    1. svp67
      svp67 31 July 2017 06: 37
      +7
      Quote: Pecheneg
      Finland is one of the few Western countries that looks at relations with Russia a little more realistic and pragmatically.

      Ukraine could go along its path calmly, and most importantly, but its leadership, like true revolutionaries, said: "no, we will go the other way"
      1. Alex_59
        Alex_59 31 July 2017 07: 18
        +18
        Quote: svp67
        Ukraine could go along its path calmly, and most importantly, but its leadership, like true revolutionaries, said: "no, we will go the other way"

        Both Balts and Georgians could follow her path. But, as the experience of the same Finns shows, a strong friendship in such a relationship begins after a hard blow to the nose. And before this strike (1944 g), the Finns also behaved very boldly, even more boldly than modern Ukraine or the Baltic states.
        1. Bongo
          31 July 2017 10: 58
          +10
          Quote: Alex_59
          Both Balts and Georgians could follow her path. But, as the experience of the same Finns shows, a strong friendship in such a relationship begins after a hard blow to the nose. And before this strike (1944 g), the Finns also behaved very boldly, even more boldly than modern Ukraine or the Baltic states.

          This "nose punch" is gradually forgotten. After the collapse of the USSR, Finland became increasingly closer to the United States and NATO, albeit not as zealously as the former "allies" under the Warsaw Pact. But today, the Finnish army has almost completely switched to NATO standards, and air defense is largely integrated into the alliance’s unified airspace control system. However, this is not surprising, the strong are always respected. You can repeat as much as you like "that we are stronger than ever," but as long as our economy relies only on trade in raw materials, they will not respect us.
          1. Alex_59
            Alex_59 31 July 2017 11: 42
            +7
            Quote: Bongo
            Today, the Finnish army has almost completely switched to NATO standards
            Well, actually this is logical, if the northern neighbor himself refused to develop his own system of standards, then Finns should not be holier than the Pope.
            Quote: Bongo
            that we are stronger than ever

            We are as weak as ever, I would say.
            1. Bongo
              31 July 2017 11: 49
              +9
              Quote: Alex_59
              Well, actually this is logical, if the northern neighbor himself refused to develop his own system of standards, then Finns should not be holier than the Pope.

              Not quite so, the Finns deliberately switch to NATO standards, for example, they abandoned the Buk-M1 air defense systems delivered in the middle of the 90's.
              Quote: Alex_59
              We are as weak as ever, I would say.
              Official propaganda claims the opposite, but I believe you more.
          2. Arikkhab
            Arikkhab 31 July 2017 15: 27
            +1
            "To date, the Finnish army has almost completely switched to NATO standards."
            and what options are actually available? or NATO standards, or Russian (which for many reasons are less preferable), or .... Chinese ???
            1. Bongo
              1 August 2017 05: 03
              +3
              Quote: ArikKhab
              and what options are actually available? or NATO standards, or Russian (which for many reasons are less preferable), or .... Chinese ???

              What do you mean by options? Leopard-2A4 tanks, Stinger MANPADS, or Link 16 data interchange system associated with NATO air defense in Europe?
      2. von Schlosser
        von Schlosser 6 August 2017 11: 29
        0
        This is how to compare monkeys with macaques))))
  3. Black Colonel
    Black Colonel 31 July 2017 10: 05
    0
    F-35A Lightning II.
    And what kind of air defense fighter is it?
    1. Bongo
      31 July 2017 10: 52
      +3
      Quote: Black Colonel
      And what kind of air defense fighter is it?

      Same as with F-18.
      1. avt
        avt 31 July 2017 17: 58
        +2
        Quote: Bongo
        Same as with F-18.

        Yes, a normal airplane still runs, but when I see it in Finnish color, I always get pinned by a landing hook. bully
        1. Bongo
          1 August 2017 05: 06
          +5
          Quote: avt
          Yes, a normal airplane still runs, but when I see it in Finnish color, I always get pinned by a landing hook.

          Normal airplane yes But not optimal for use as an air defense fighter. As for the landing hook, this is generally justified on icy runways. In Canada, CF-18 hooks are also sometimes used.
  4. Amurets
    Amurets 31 July 2017 10: 15
    +3
    Sergei! Thank. Interesting. I hope that not only wood and paper (we give them a forest for "pennies", they give us paper for "rubles") we will trade with Finland. And from the article I learned something new.
  5. Kostadinov
    Kostadinov 31 July 2017 10: 33
    +3
    The situation in Finland after leaving World War II was very difficult. The Finnish people paid dearly for the adventurism and lack of foresight of their rulers.

    The situation was hard before the Second World War because the short-sighted rulers then beat and war and losses awaited them.
    After World War II, the situation improved much because far-sighted leaders came, friends of the USSR and Finnish people expected peace and prosperity for decades.
    Nevertheless, Finland, albeit in a difficult situation, managed to maintain political and economic independence.

    Independence is not the most important thing for Finland. It had independence before the war and used it to participate in the anti-Soviet war. The most important change that brought the welfare of the Finnish people is the transition from a policy of hostility to the USSR to a policy of friendship with the USSR.
    1. avt
      avt 31 July 2017 18: 02
      +4
      Quote: Kostadinov
      The most important change that brought the welfare of the Finnish people is the transition from a policy of hostility to the USSR to a policy of friendship with the USSR.

      Well, at the expense of friendship, you sorted it out, but neutrality and pragmatic economic relations since the Soviet Union allowed Finland to quite successfully stay afloat in the economy and in shipbuilding in particular. , from steamers, to dairy products.
  6. ENOTE
    ENOTE 31 July 2017 12: 08
    +5
    Not Jirki Lokkanen, but Jurkki Laukanen! A person can be offended!
    1. Mooh
      Mooh 31 July 2017 12: 34
      +5
      Do not be offended, Yurka. It’s not Seryoga who called you that, but an impudent source :)
  7. PKTRL
    PKTRL 4 August 2017 01: 36
    0
    Quote: ENOTE
    Not Jirki Lokkanen, but Jurkki Laukanen! A person can be offended!

    Nothing strange. The author's name translated the letter from English by letter (an inexperienced junior junior slept) laughing
  8. zyablik.olga
    zyablik.olga 4 August 2017 04: 43
    +2
    Quote: PCTRL
    Nothing strange. The author's name translated the letter from English by letter (an inexperienced junior junior slept)

    You are probably a great connoisseur of Finnish names and you know how they all sound in the original? In this case, you are more fortunate than the author of more than 300 articles. As for the "junior junior", then Sergei gave the service 25 years. And you forgive how many have served?