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Ilmataktiikka 23 develops Finnish Air Force's tactics and combat techniques

Air Force
Publication date 11.4.2023 15.10
Press release
Three Finnish Air Force F/A-18 Hornet multi role fighter jets above clouds
Photo: Ben Stanley Hall / Key Publishing

All Finnish Air Force units will participate in the Ilmataktiikka 23 live air exercise on 17‒21 April 2023. The objective will be to train Air Force key personnel in tactically challenging scenarios.

The exercise will feature approximately 30 aircraft, including 24 F/A-18 Hornet multi-role fighters, three Hawk jet trainers, as well as transport and liaison aircraft.

‒ Ilmataktiikka 23 will offer an important opportunity to further develop Air Force tactics and air combat techniques. The main operating base for the fighters carrying out air defence duties will be Rovaniemi, while Rissala will host the aircraft simulating the adversary, says Exercise Director, Colonel Henrik Elo.

‒ The objective of the exercise will be to train fighter squadrons' and control and reporting centres' personnel in tactically challenging scenarios. Through continuous development that takes into account the operating environment, and through the training of our airmen, we ensure that we are capable to fight effectively in all situations, Colonel Elo continues.

The tactically challenging scenarios of Ilmataktiikka 23 will include both low-altitude flights, and supersonic flights at an altitude of more than 10 kilometres. Additionally, the aircraft in the exercise will deploy countermeasures such as flares and chaff. Flares may be seen as momentary bright spots of light in the sky, and chaff may cause echoes on weather radar.

The aircraft participating Ilmataktiikka 23 will operate out of Rovaniemi, Rissala and Tikkakoski. The alternate landing base will be Oulunsalo. The flight operations will take place in the area bordering on Rovaniemi, Kuusamo, Kuopio, Jyväskylä and Oulu. The exercise will begin on 17 April at 8.30 am and end on 21 April no later than 5 pm. Flight operations will be flown daily between 9 am and 9 pm. The exercise will also feature an air defence unit which will be operating in Pudasjärvi.

Ilmataktiikka 23 will be carried out mainly by cadre. Reservists will not be involved in the exercise.

Additional information on the Air Commands is available from:
Karelia Air Command Head of Division, Major Tuukka Antikainen, puh. 0299 800 (switchboard).
Lapland Air Command Chief of Staff, Lieutenant Colonel Teemu Pöysti, puh. 0299 800 (switchboard).