Jump to content
This site uses cookies! Learn More

This site uses cookies!

You can find a list of those cookies here: mysite.com/cookies

By continuing to use this site, you agree to allow us to store cookies on your computer. :)

28ZComeback

Saab Lansen — did it ever engage MiG fighters during the Cold War?

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

Sorry for my ignorance but I was wondering if Saab Lansens of the Swedish Air Force ever engaged in mock dogfights or unfriendly encounters with Migs during the Cold War?  Did Swedish Lansen recon missions ever take place near the Soviet coastline? Thank you for any information. 

Edited by 28ZComeback
Sp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello 28ZComeback,

 

I'm sure they had some hairy moments just as the Finnish Air Force had. Was it Lansens particularly I can't say. Swedish Air Force operated Spitfire PR.XIXs, Mustangs (photo recce), Junkers JU-86s, DC-3s, Catalinas, Vickers Varsities, EE Canberras, SAAB Lansens, Drakens and Viggens and an SA Caravelle (at least) during the Cold War in reconnaissance duties. They normally flew photo recce and/or SIGINT missions following a series of pre-determined tracks over international waters of the Baltic Sea. Some of those tracks took the Swedish pilots close to "Warzaw Pact" waters (DDR, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Soviet Union).

 

Soviet Union shot down a Swedish DC-3 and two days later a Catalina over international waters in 1950s. DC-3 was on an SIGINT -mission whereas the Catalina was on a SAR -mission looking for survivors of the DC-3 (There were none).

 

Swedish Air Force conducted a series of photo recce flights (over flights) over Kola Peninsula with Spitfires. At least on one mission a flight of MiG-15s chased the Spitfire.

 

A Swedish Canberra pilot told that very often the Swedish fighter controller reported for him that: "An unknown aircraft from the east. In climb with great rate of climb. Most likely a fighter. Turning in behind you."

 

An FRA (Swedish signals intelligence agency) operator (flying in a Canberra) wrote that sometimes they had to take evasive action because of aggressive Soviet pilots.

 

A fellow Finnish Air Force navigator was on a maritime reconnaissance mission over the Baltic Sea in an Ilyushin Il-28R, just abeam of the Gulf of Riga in August 1968, when an aggressive MiG-21 carrying red stars made a  mock attack against it. After that the MiG flew in front of the Ilyushin with collision course. That time the Finnish crew aborted the mission. Similar encounters took place during that summer.

 

An American RB-47 was on a photo recce mission over Murmansk and Polyarnyi submarine bases when it was chased by several Soviet fighters. All the aircraft then entered Finnish air space roughly north of Rovaniemi city and automatic gun fire was heard above the clouds. The damaged RB-47 escaped.

 

Today Russian fighter pilots get Very (read: dangerously) close to Swedish SIGINT -missions over the Baltic Sea. Nowadays the Swedish Air Force is operating two modified Gulfstream IVs for that task.

 

As you can see all Nordic countries had "close calls" during the Cold War years. Main advice from commanding officers was (and still is): "Remember that nothing happened and keep your mouth shut!". It was a way to make sure that the Soviet Union didn't get any excuses for demands or direct action. They were indeed eagerly looking for an opportunity. Here in Finland pages were removed from the voyage log books of reconnaissance planes.

 

Kind Regards,

Antti

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is two of my Swedish Cold War planes: a SAAB J32E Lansen and Tp52 Canberra. Both configured for electronic warfare and/or SIGINT.

 

First the modified Tarangus model of a Lansen: Målflygdivision, summer of 1970. Based at Malmslätt AB

spacer.png

 

spacer.png

 

And then modified Airfix Canberra: October 1970 on detachment at Ronneby AB, normally based at F8 Wing at Stockholm Barkarby AB

spacer.png

 

spacer.png

 

Kind Regards,

Antti

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Antii! I have full documentation of the RC-47 shootdown and as an aside, I know as a fact that Bluesky RC-47 pilots in the US talk about it frequently with great respect for the brave Swedish crew. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stunning models Antii, really inspiring to me. I have two second hand, already made, Heller Lansens that I will be rebuilding. Yours is so full of detail.

Is the Canberra 1/48 scale?

Would love to see any more Swedish aircraft you may have in your collection.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello guys,

 

28ZComeback: you are welcome. Unfortunately I couldn't provide you with a simple "yes, they did" or "no, they didn't" answer. Like here in Finland the Swedish military personnel keep a low profile about any incidents. Recently both air forces have released photos taken on QRA or SIGINT -missions. Here you can see some pictures shot by the S102 Korpen crew on SIGINT -mission over the Baltic Sea. Note how close the Russian pilot comes. In comparison NATO aircraft usually maintain a lateral separation of at least 200 yards away.

 

https://www.is.fi/ulkomaat/art-2000006011387.html

 

And here is a photo taken by a Finnish Air Force F/A-18 pilot on a QRA -mission; just some 20-30 miles outside of Finland's capital city Helsinki. Russian Air Force's finest:

 

https://yle.fi/uutiset/3-7678687

 

Sometimes the Russian pilots use pure Finnish language on international emergency frequency (121,500 MHz). They might call for example: "Hyvin väistetty Suomen poika" (Nice maneuver Finnish guy).

 

Timbo88: Thank you for your kind words🙂 Actually both models are in 1/48 scale. Both are extensively modified. I have a 1/72 scale Heller Lansen as well. Then of course the S31 (Spitfire PR.XIX) in 1/48 scale; one is finished and the other one is still WIP. I also converted the Tamiya P-51D Mustang into a Swedish J26, but she sits and waits for paint. I have just opened the box of a Tarangus SAAB JA-37 Viggen. And then I saw the new A-Models' 1/72 scale Gulstream at Hannants, that could be modified into a S102 Korpen SIGINT plane... One can never have too many Swedish Air Force planes in the collection!

 

Here is my Airfix 1/48 scale S31:

spacer.png

 

spacer.png

 

Cheers,

Antti

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

One day a company such as HobbyBoss, or Eduard (or maybe ICM) will produce multiple versions of the Ju-86 in 1/48.  Beautiful Swedish kits by the way!! Thank you Antii!! 

Edited by 28ZComeback
Sp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hope that they are going to do so. Then I will build the first Swedish SIGINT aircraft "Blondie" (a heavily modified JU-86) and a DC-3 -or Tp79 as it was called in Sweden. Also heavily modified and used for SIGINT  duties as well. And possibly a Catalina; all in 1/48 scale.

 

I already have Finnish Air Force SIGINT planes, a modified DC-3 and a heavily modified Fokker F.27-100. They both are in 1/72.

 

I'm glad you like my "Swedish Air Force"🙂

 

Cheers,

Antti

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Antti,

 

First off, those are outstanding models! I am crazy about your Lansen- such a mean-looking weenie cooker. Wasn't the wreckage of the RC-47 that was shot down into the  sea recovered and parts of it on display somewhere, or am I thinking of another incident? I have the 1/72 Heller and Tarangus Lansens and they are both pretty nice- yours has inspired me to pull them out and contemplate building one. Thank you for the post- the models and the history were both very interesting! Kiitos!

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Mike and ole hyvä🙂 I agree, Lansen is a very good looking aircraft. When you get close to the real thing you immediately note beautifully completed details here and there. I've always said that there must have been professional (and talented) designers at SAAB during the early Cold War years. Those aircraft are like works of art.

 

My Lansen is converted from a Tarangus A32A kit (the first one they released), so I had to re-build the air intakes with Milliput (they are wider in J32), scratch build a new afterburner and flame holders and new ailerons. I also built the air brakes from styrene sheet. Everything else was detailing (air louvres, gun ports, formation light tubes on elevator tips, antennas and "Petrus" ECM tank. And all panel lines had to be rescribed.

 

The Tp79 (RC-47) wreckage was finally located by a private company and then recovered. I guess the document telling the story might still be available in Youtube; it is unfortunately mainly on Swedish language, so it can be frustrating for those not having the language. After the recovery the plane was put on display at the Swedish Air Force Museum at Linkoping. When the Swedish Catalina was shot down a couple of days later, the crew was rescued by a German merchant ship and the Swedish air crew members were brought to Finland. Some days later another Catalina landed at island Ruissalo just outside my hometown Turku to pick up the shot down crew. One stayed in a hospital in Finland as he was severely injured.

 

Have you opened the Lansen box yet?😉 Here is a few more "teasers":

 

spacer.png

 

spacer.png

 

Cheers,

Antti

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have an Air International (?) somewhere with an article about the early post-WWII Swedish ELINT / SIGINT program. Good stuff.

 

Cheers,

 

Andre

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lansen does remind me of the Swift though....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
52 minutes ago, JagRigger said:

Lansen does remind me of the Swift though....

Noooo, Swift, short fat ugly & pretty useless, Lansen, stout, purposeful & competent, something no-one could ever accuse the Swift of being, goodness knows why Airfix ever kitted it when any thread about what was more worthy to kit would easily run to 100 plus pages & probably has already. :D

Steve.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, stevehnz said:

Noooo, Swift, short fat ugly & pretty useless, Lansen, stout, purposeful & competent, something no-one could ever accuse the Swift of being, goodness knows why Airfix ever kitted it when any thread about what was more worthy to kit would easily run to 100 plus pages & probably has already. :D

Steve.

Drifting OT but the Swift was a good TacR platform - try reading "Swift Justice" by Nigel Walpole. Lousy fighter of course.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, rossm said:

Drifting OT but the Swift was a good TacR platform - try reading "Swift Justice" by Nigel Walpole. Lousy fighter of course.

@rossm I grant you that te FR.5 seemed to be competent enough & now I've looked it up & seen the colour scheme the kit features, well, I'm not sure I like the way this is heading. :( So, is the Tarangus Lansen kit worthy of chasing down?  :)

Don't worry, just found one local at an unexpectedly good price. :) 

Steve.

Edited by stevehnz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Steve,

 

do you have Tarangus A32A or J32B Lansen at your sight? I built the A32A converting it to J32E. If you wish to build a fighter or electronic warfare variant, I guess less work is needed using J32B kit. Tarangus kit is more accurate than Hobbyboss one when it comes to shape (for example the nose is out of shape in Hobbyboss kit). One fellow modeller in Sweden said that you can build a very nice Lansen from the Hobbyboss kit as well. Photos of his model look convincing.

 

Cheers,

Antti

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/7/2019 at 10:23 PM, Antti_K said:

Note how close the Russian pilot comes. In comparison NATO aircraft usually maintain a lateral separation of at least 200 yards away.

??? From other side...it's really "200 yards away"?

Video shoot from "aircraft number 2" RF - special VIP aircraft ministry MoD RF.

....ministry MoD! 

After that, will you convince me that they keep their distance with ordinary planes?

 

B.w. may I see video with Su-27 shoot from special VIP aircraft ministry MoD  Finland? ...Sweden? ...e.t.c

 

On BM ask my about Cold War 

"dog fight" over Baltic Sea. No video "dog fight", only this  private poor quality shoot Soviet pilot on 8-mm camera

from IL-14P used for control exclusive Soviet economic zone,  You also may see how J-35 & JA-37 keep a distance "200 yards away" 😉with ancient and defenseless IL-14P:

Owner this video Russian modeller who have nickname  "pilot B737" on Russian modeller's forum.

 

 

So, this special game

without rules have been, are and will always be....

 

B.R.

Serge

 

P.S.

On 8/7/2019 at 9:55 AM, Antti_K said:

A fellow Finnish Air Force navigator was on a maritime reconnaissance mission over the Baltic Sea in an Ilyushin Il-28R, just abeam of the Gulf of Riga in August 1968, when an aggressive MiG-21 carrying red stars made a  mock attack against it. After that the MiG flew in front of the Ilyushin with collision course. That time the Finnish crew aborted the mission. Similar encounters took place during that summer.

Two barrel one  23-mm gun MiG-21 v.s. 2 x 23 mm gun IL-28R ? Chances 50 on 50. Of course contra MiG-21 with R-3 missile

,  IL-28 have little chance if pilot IL-28 fan "seat-duck" tactics.😆

B.w. and of course IL-28R over Gulf of Riga in 1968 maked tourist mission! 😁 Who talks about spy mission? IL-28R ("R" from intelligence ? 🤔 )

& espionage what nonsense?! 🤔Only tourism,  Russian ethethnography, Russian  ballet,

Russian ditties, Russian jokes and of course prices on Russian vodka interesting this IL-28R!!!! 🤔😁

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great videos Serge; especially the last one. Thank you for sharing🙂 I was wondering about the Cessna 402 in the last video. Is it military or civilian? Our squadron had one in the 1970s but it was used for communications. I was also trying to see whether those J35 Drakens were Swedish or Finnish but I can't be sure. Any ideas?

 

You proved your point beyond any doubt. Western air forces come very close as well. My personal experience says that American, German, French or Portugese military aircraft we met over the Baltic were always cordial and kept a separation of 200 yards toward us. Swedish aircraft came closer but we had a mutual understanding about the rules. You weren't allowed to conduct any maneuvers that could put the other part in danger. The only hair rising moments have been because of the actions of the Russian armed forces. Well over international waters and actually over Finnish Economical Exclusive Zone. So let's just leave it there.

 

You slightly misunderstood my earlier post: the Finnish Ilyushin wasn't flying over the Gulf of Riga. No one wouldn't have been that crazy. It would have been a bad and direct provocation against the Soviets. The Finnish "Beagle" was following the center line of the Baltic sea and was over "High Seas" abeam the Gulf of Riga when the MiG appeared.

 

Kind Regards,

Antti

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Antti_K said:

Great videos Serge; especially the last one. Thank you for sharing🙂 I was wondering about the Cessna 402 in the last video. Is it military or civilian? Our squadron had one in the 1970s but it was used for communications. I was also trying to see whether those J35 Drakens were Swedish or Finnish but I can't be sure. Any ideas?

1.About the Cessna 402, I don't know. This type aircraft absolutely no interesting for my.

2. J35 Drakens were Swedish or Finnish? Questions on questions - Finnish J35 Drakens was with big number on the wing? So....😉😁

 

It’s best to ask these questions directly to the author of the video,

s600

https://yandex.ru/collections/user/b737/

but I can’t find his facebook yet, besides he can be a member of BM.  But it is not exactly.

 

20 hours ago, Antti_K said:

You proved your point beyond any doubt.

I try not to operate with unsubstantiated information, if I operate on them I write "rumors". It makes no sense to operate on a lie, as for my, in most cases a lie is easily refuted if it is primitive, if it is not primitive and skillfully created, then there is little chance to refute such a lie.

20 hours ago, Antti_K said:

My personal experience says that American, German, French or Portugese military aircraft we met over the Baltic 

American, German, French over Baltic - understand, but Portugese...where from?

20 hours ago, Antti_K said:

So let's just leave it there.

Yes, it could be a big can of worms.

 

B.R.

Serge

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Aardvark said:

Portugese...where from?

Part of a NATO presence?

Steve.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, stevehnz said:

Part of a NATO presence?

Yes of course, but  where Portugese  and where Baltic?

Just a great distance ...

 

B.R.

Serge

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, stevehnz said:

Stop! It's about modern period? I think @Antti_K talk about Cold War period?! 

I just could not imagine what the Portuguese could do in the Baltic during the Cold War ... they probably flew to see Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev

when he was relaxing on a yacht!

%D0%B1%D1%80%D0%B5%D0%B6%D0%BD%D0%B5%D0%

😁😁😁

 

B.R.

Serge

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...