- Finland to buy 64 F-35 fighter jets from Lockheed Martin
- New F-35s to replace Finnish Air Force’s F/A-18 fighters
- Finland will help in stopping Russian aggression in the Baltic Sea
Frightened by Russia’s growing activism in the Baltic Sea, Finland has announced the purchase of Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighter jets from the US. The F-35s will replace the obsolete F/A-18 fighter jets of the Finnish Air Force. Finland has signed a deal with American arms manufacturer Lockheed Martin for 64 F-35 aircraft for $ 9.4 billion.
Lockheed Martin beat these companies
Lockheed Martin has won the contract, beating Sweden’s Saab Group, Boeing of the US, Dassault of France and BAE Systems of the UK. Finland’s government said Lockheed is projected to spend 8.378 billion euros ($9.44 billion) on weapons as well as service and maintenance by 2030. He also said that the construction of the hangar and other equipment for these aircraft would cost 777 million euros and the weapon package would cost another 824 million euros.
Finland started the search for the aircraft in 2015
Finland’s Defense Minister Antti Kakkonen said that when comparing the military performance of different aircraft, the F-35 met our needs. Finland floated the tender for these aircraft in late 2015. Then he wanted to replace the old Hornet fighter bought in 1992 from McDonnell Douglas with new planes. McDonnell Douglas is now part of Boeing.
Finland 14th country in the world to buy F-35
Finland is the 14th country in the world to choose the F-35. Finnish Air Force Commander Pasi Jokinen said that his country will be inducting the F-35 in a phased manner by 2027. Researcher Charlie Salonius-Pasternak of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs said the choice of the F-35 strengthens the small Nordic nation’s defense cooperation with its allies the US and Norway. The Nordic countries include Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, and Iceland.
Finland increasing military ties with America
Finland is not a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Despite this, the Finnish army continues to exercise with Norway and other NATO countries. That is why Finland has chosen American weapons. In 2014, Finland and Sweden signed an agreement to allow training and assistance to NATO in situations of crisis even if they were not members of NATO.