It's official, F-35A Lightning II is Finland’s next multi-role fighter

Finland buy Lockheed F35
Italian Air Force F-35A and Finnish Air Force F-18 Hornet conduct a joint training mission.
The F-35A has been officially selected as a replacement for Finnish Hornets.

10 December 2021 - The Government of Finland has authorised the Finnish Defence Forces Logistics Command to sign a procurement contract with the Government of the United States on Finland’s next multi-role fighter. The fighter replacing the Hornet fleet’s capability is the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II.

The procurement contains 64 F-35A Block 4 multi-role fighters, substantial and versatile weaponry tailored for the operating circumstances, required training and sustainment solutions, other related systems as well as sustainment and maintenance services until the end of 2030.

In the HX Fighter Programme evaluation of the tenderers’ offers, the F-35 fulfilled the security of supply, industrial participation and affordability requirements of the decision-making areas. In the military capability assessment, the F-35 comprehensive system was the best. The F-35 combat, reconnaissance and survival capabilities were the best suited of the HX candidates.

The F-35 operating and sustainment costs fit the allocated cost frame, and the aircraft development during the life cycle will be feasible with the normal resources of the Finnish Defence Forces. Within the procurement process, several essential security of supply requirements and significant industrial participation have been agreed upon. The essential security of supply requirements relate specifically to independent ability to operate in exceptional circumstances.

The F-35 programme is multinational and its user community large. The system is in service in many European nations including Norway and Denmark.

The current Hornet fleet will be phased out as planned from the year 2025. The first Finnish F-35 fighters will begin service with the Finnish Air Force in 2025 as part of the training of Finnish personnel in the United States. The first F-35s will be delivered to Finland in 2026. In Finland the F-35 system will replace the Hornet fleet in the fighter wings between 2028 and 2030.

Source, Image: Finnish Defence Forces

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