Imagine for a moment, if you will, you’re a fighter pilot in an air force whose home station has just fallen victim to an airstrike.

You look out across the airfield and see the runway has been decimated. Some of the aircraft themselves have taken hits, but still others have survived unscathed. With no runway, how are you going to get those jets off the ground and into the fight?


European Air Forces have been practicing for this very contingency for decades. Finnish F/A-18s, RAF Jaguars, Luftwaffe Tornadoes have all done it. Ideal environment for launching and recovering combat aircraft? Absolutely not. Could it be done in a pinch? Absolutely.

So today, FighterSweep Fans, we take you inside the cockpit for such austere environment training operations. You will be along for the ride with MiG-29s and SU-25s from the Russian Air Force, making use of a rural highway to validate the practice of finding alternate surfaces and means to get fighters into the sky for a worst-case scenario.

Certainly something you don’t see every day!!

(Featured photo courtesy of YouTube)