Finland regions

Finland to close main highway for fighter jet landing exercise

Join now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

HELSINKI, Aug 30 (Reuters) – Finland will close a section of one of its main highways for a week in September to allow its air force to practice take-offs and landings on a road designed to serve as a wartime reserve track, local authorities said. said Tuesday.

In recent months, the Nordic country has dramatically increased its military training as it applies for NATO membership following the invasion of Ukraine by its eastern neighbor, Russia.

Finland, which repelled an attempted invasion by the Soviet Union during World War II, has been preparing its military for possible Russian aggression for decades. Read more

Join now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

“The Air Force rehearses regularly relying on locations beyond its home bases so it can quickly deploy the aircraft across the country if needed,” the Academy said. Finnish Air Force in a statement.

Finland has more than a dozen emergency landing strips which were built on the country’s highways mostly in the 1960s and 1970s, but its defense forces did not train on the main south- north for decades due to traffic inconvenience.

The closure of a 4.5 kilometer (2.8 mile) section of the E75 highway in southern Finland will send around 7,000 cars a day on an hour-long detour, regional manager Jari Mikkonen said of the Center for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment.

The exercise, involving around 200 military personnel and Finland’s existing F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets, ex-Hawk Mk 51 trainer jets and other military aircraft, will take place during the last week of September .

Join now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

Reporting by Anne Kauranen, editing by Ed Osmond

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.