Finland’s Ministry of Defense suspects that two Russian MiG-31 fighters violated Finnish airspace near Porvoo, east of Helsinki, on August 18, 2022.
“Two Russian MIG-31 fighter jets are suspected of violating Finnish airspace in the Gulf of Finland off Porvoo on the morning of August 18, 2022,” the ministry said in a statement. “The Border Guard has started a preliminary investigation.”
An F/A-18 Hornet fighter of the Finnish Air Force scrambled to intercept the intruders and proceed to visual identification.
Second only to the Mikoyan MiG-25 Foxbat in speed, the Mikoyan MiG-31 Foxhound entered service as a supersonic interceptor in 1981. Though the exact variant of the intruding aircraft was not specified by the Finnish authorities, the MiG-31K variant is capable of carrying the Kinzhal hypersonic missile.
On the same day as the suspected incursion into Finland, the Russian Defense Ministry reported deploying three MiG-31K fighters with Kinzhal missiles in Chkalovsk air base, located in the Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad.
Since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine, there has been a rise in tension between Russia and Russia and the two Scandinavian nations of Finland and Sweden, which both hope for an accelerated accession to NATO. On March 2, 2022, four Russian combat aircraft, including two Su-27 Flanker fighters and two Su-24 Fencer tactical bombers, briefly violated the airspace over the Swedish island of Gotland.