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Fighter jets land on the highway

Now Finland has closed part of the highway in Joutsa to use it as a landing strip for military fighters. For five days, the fighters will practice landing and taking off from the motorway.

According to Reuters, Finland has twelve stretches of road that will be reserve airports. It is the first time in decades that this stretch of road has been closed for military exercises.

EXERCISE: An F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet lands on a highway in Joutsa, Finland September 28, 2022. Photo: REUTERS/Janis Laizans
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Goes fast

It took only a few days to convert the highway into a landing strip and prepare it for practice for 200 military F/A-18 Hornet fighters, older Hawk MK 51 trainers and other military aircraft that will participate in the exercise.

– All in all, the roadway is in good condition, so that the operation can easily start within a couple of days, says head of the Finnish air force, Colonel Vesa Mantyla to Reuters.

The Finnish Air Force practices on the road network annually, but this particular road has been practiced on for several decades.

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– The threat and actions of Russia, with cruise missiles and ballistic missiles in Ukraine, show that the concept of spreading the forces is correct, says Martela, according to NRK.

Lots of show-goers

QUICK CONVERSION: The road surface is of good quality, and can be quickly converted to a runway.  Photo: REUTERS/Janis Laizans

QUICK CONVERSION: The road surface is of good quality, and can be quickly converted to a runway. Photo: REUTERS/Janis Laizans
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Our neighboring country has not yet become a member of NATO, but together with Sweden they applied this spring, and are now waiting to be accepted into the alliance.

Several hundred spectacle-seeking civilians gathered along the road in Joutsa on Wednesday to watch the military exercises.

Veikko Haapala (70) was one of those who had come to see the fighters. He tells Reuters that he trusts that the Finnish defense forces are able to defend the country, especially with the support of NATO.

Seija Viinikainen (57) and Annen from the local population, Stemmer i:

– Finns must be alert and practice even on these small runways, so that the military is prepared to use them, she says.

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