US approves $156m sale of F/A-18 upgrades to Finland


The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a potential $156m foreign military sale of F/A-18 mid-life upgrade programme to Finland.

Under the sale, Finland seeks to receive 90 multifunctional information distribution system joint tactical radio system (MIDS-JTRS) variants for F/A-18 Super Hornet aircraft.

Finland also requested software tests and integration centre upgrades, flight testing, spare and repair parts, support and test equipment.

The sale also covers transportation, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, US Government and contractor technical and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics support.

The procurement will allow the Finnish Air Force (FAF) to extend the useful life of its F/A-18 fighter aircraft and enhance their survivability and communications connectivity.

The Finnish Defence Forces need this upgrade to match the advances in sensors, weaponry, and communications.

"Finland also requested software tests and integration centre upgrades, flight testing, spare and repair parts, support and test equipment."

Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, The Boeing Company, BAE North America,General Electric,General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, Rockwell Collins, ViaSat and Data Link Solutions will serve as principal contractors for the sale.

Under the mid-life upgrade programme, the multirole combat jet is expected to receive upgrades worth around €1.6bn.

The upgrades include new avionics, including helmet mounted sights, new cockpit displays, sensors and standard Nato data link.


Image: A Finnish Air Force F/A-18. Photo: courtesy of D2180s.