HELSINKI, ($1=0.88 Euros) – Today, December 10, it became clear that the Finnish government has chosen to purchase the American stealth fighter F-35 A Block 4, thus making it a major fighter aircraft in the Finnish next-generation fighter program, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, citing international sources.
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The deal is worth nearly 4.7 billion euros. In addition to the 64 stealth fighters, Finland has chosen to purchase AMRAAM and Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, as well as a rich support package until 2030. The new fifth-generation fighters will replace the existing Finnish fleet with another US flagship, the F-18 Hornet.
At the same time, it became clear that the largest Finnish defense company Patria has hopes to participate in large-scale production (and not only that) of front fuselages for future Finnish F-35 fighters.
In a special press release, the company said the deal opens the door to extensive industrial cooperation in the field of defense between the United States and Finland, and the deal is expected to employ “4,500 person-years directly and 1,500 indirectly.”
Apart from Patria, other local Finnish companies are expected to take over part of the production of various components for the aircraft.
“The F-35’s industrial cooperation solution in Finland creates strong competencies through the security of supply and is also important at the level of the national economy. The main industrial cooperation projects for Patria are large-scale manufacturing of F-35 front fuselages in Finland also for other users and further production of structural components. In addition, the F-35 team has offered an engine final assembly for the Finnish Air Force fleet. On top of the previous repair capabilities of numerous components across a range of aircraft systems will be built in Finland. The employment effect of industrial participation will be 4500 person-years directly and 1500 indirectly. The industrial participation contract will be signed by the Ministry of Defense as well as Lockheed Martin and the engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney,” the press release said.
The Finnish company claims that the purchase of F-35 A Block 4 stealth fighters for the Finnish Air Force “gave Patria significant access to the global F-35 supply chain”. Patria is confident in the success of the large-scale project and believes that the company can ensure the national security of supply for the project and the maintenance of the future fighter fleet.
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