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Finland signs contract for 64 F-35A fighters

F-35A demo
Illustration: US Air Force file photo of an F-35A Lightning II

The Finnish defense ministry has signed the official letter of offer and acceptance for the purchase of 64 fifth-generation F-35A stealth fighter jets from US defense contractor Lockheed Martin.

The contract signing took place at the Finnish Defense Forces Logistics Command office in Tampere on February 11, after the country’s government gave its green light for the procurement a day earlier.

As previously reported, the procurement of the fighters, engines and associated equipment will come with a price tag of around $9.4 billion.

Once in Finnish Air Force service, the F-35A Lightning II will replace the Hornet fleet that will be phased out by 2030.

The procurement of multi-role fighters will be carried out in line with the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) procedure as required by the United States administration for defense exports.

As noted by the defense ministry, the procurement contracts include the deliveries of 64 F-35A Block 4 configuration fighters between 2025 and 2030.

Subsequent contracts for the procurement of air-to-air weapons, the Sidewinder and AMRAAM missiles, will be signed over the course of 2022, it was added.

It is worth noting that Finland has also secured industrial participation as part of the agreement, which will include large-scale production of the F-35 front fuselage in Finland also for other users, production of structural components as well as equipment testing and maintenance capability. Finland was also offered a project of the final assembly of engines for the aircraft.

Finland revealed in December last year it had selected the F-35A over proposals that included Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet, the French Dassault Aviation’s Rafale, the Eurofighter Typhoon, and the Swedish Gripen fighter.