The Finnish Defence Forces Logistics Command has signed $9.4bn worth of contracts for 64 F-35A Lightning II multi-role fighters and maintenance services.

Last December, the Finnish Government announced plans to acquire these jets from the US under its HX Fighter programme.

The F-35As will replace the Finnish Air Force’s Hornet fleet, which will be phased out by 2030. 

The scope of the contracts covers the deliveries of the F-35A Block 4 configuration aircraft between the 2025-2030 timeframe, including aircraft engines, maintenance equipment, and associated systems.

It also includes spare units, replacement and training equipment, as well as servicing.

As agreed, F-35 training will also be provided for the defence forces’ pilots and technical personnel.

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The multi-role fighters will be acquired under the US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route.

In line with the procurement proposal submitted to the government, the agreements to procure the Sidewinder and AMRAAM air-to-air missiles, air-to-ground and air-to-surface weapons will be drafted later.

In addition, Finnish Defence Minister Antti Kaikkonen entered an agreement with F-35 manufacturer Lockheed Martin and engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney on industrial participation.

The aim of industrial participation is to build the domestic defence and security industry’s expertise in production and technology.

A number of the industrial participation projects encompass large-scale production of the F-35 front fuselage in Finland, production of structural components, along with equipment trials and sustainment capability.