Two of the four Russian fighters that violated Swedish airspace on March 2 were nuclear-armed, TV4 revealed, citing sources.
Two Sukhoi 24s flanked by two Sukhoi 27s were carrying a nuclear payload, according to the broadcaster.
The fighters took off from Russia’s Kaliningrad airbase and breached Swedish airspace near Gotland Island for about a minute before being intercepted by Swedish fighters.
Images Revealed Nuclear Payload
While confronting the Sukhois, Swedish Air Force JAS 39 Gripens took photos of the aircraft revealing that the Sukhoi 24s were nuclear-armed.
The Swedish armed forces confirmed the breach but has not responded to the latest revelation.
Air Force Commander Carl-Johan Edstrom stated following the violation, “On 2 March, four Russian fighter aircraft violated Swedish airspace. The Swedish air force conducted an operation with JAS 39 Gripen aircraft of the rapid readiness unit, which documented and photographed the incident.”
Speaking to TV4, Edstrom said that the air force assessed the incident and found it to have been done deliberately. “We assess it as a conscious action. Which is very serious especially as you are a warring country.” The commander ruled out the possibility that the violation took place due to “incorrect navigation.”
“We have analyzed the incident and it is clear that I can not rule out incorrect navigation, but everything indicates that it was a deliberate act.”
Sweden is not a NATO member and is officially non-aligned.
However, since Russia invaded Ukraine conflict began Sweden has shifted its neutral policy and sent arms to Ukraine. The supply includes “5,000 anti-tank weapons manufactured by Saab, plus 5,000 helmets, 5,000 body shields, and 135,000 field rations.”