Report: Russian bomber violates NATO airspace - M5 Dergi
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Report: Russian bomber violates NATO airspace

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A Russian aircraft violated Swedish airspace east of Gotland’s southern tip on Friday afternoon, according to the Swedish Armed Forces.

In response to the incursion, two Jas-39 Gripen fighter jets were dispatched to intercept the Russian plane.

Swedish authorities have announced that they will summon the Russian ambassador to address the incident, Foreign Minister Tobias Billström told SVT.

The aircraft involved was identified as a Russian SU-24, which did not respond to transmissions from Swedish forces. After the violation was detected, the two Swedish fighter jets were sent to intercept the intruding plane.

Foreign Minister Tobias Billström stated, “The Russian behaviour is unacceptable. The Foreign Ministry will call the Russian embassy to mark the incident. We are in close contact with allies and partners about events in the immediate area.”

Defence Minister Pål Jonson also condemned the actions, describing them as “unacceptable and unprofessional.”

The Swedish Armed Forces noted that the violation was brief but still problematic.

Air Force Chief Jonas Wikman commented on the situation, stating, “It shows a lack of respect for our territorial integrity. The act reflects the general security situation with a less secure environment and more aggressive behaviour on the Russian side.”

The SU-24: An Overview

The SU-24, known by NATO as “Fencer,” is a supersonic, all-weather attack aircraft developed by the Soviet Union in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It remains in service with the Russian Air Force and several other nations.

Designed primarily for low-level penetration strikes, the SU-24 can carry a variety of weaponry, including guided missiles, bombs, and rockets, making it a versatile platform for ground attack missions.

Key features of the SU-24 include:

  • Twin-Engine Configuration: The aircraft is powered by two AL-21F-3 turbojet engines, enabling it to reach speeds of up to Mach 1.35.
  • Variable-Sweep Wing: The SU-24’s wings can be swept back at different angles, allowing for better performance at both low and high speeds.
  • Advanced Avionics: Equipped with a sophisticated navigation and attack system, the SU-24 can conduct precision strikes in various weather conditions, both day and night.
  • Crew: The aircraft is operated by a two-person crew consisting of a pilot and a navigator seated side by side.

The SU-24 is used for a range of missions, including:

  • Ground Attack: Capable of carrying a wide array of conventional and precision-guided munitions, the SU-24 excels in destroying ground targets.
  • Electronic Warfare: Some variants of the SU-24 are equipped with electronic countermeasures to disrupt enemy radar and communications.
  • Reconnaissance: The aircraft can be fitted with reconnaissance equipment for intelligence-gathering missions.

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