Patria, a player in Finland’s defence industry, has signed an agreement with the Finnish Defence Forces to enhance capabilities for Finland’s F-35 programme.

This service agreement will see Patria manage the maintenance reliability-critical know-how and technology of the F-35 solution within Finnish borders, encompassing normal and emergencies.

The agreement, estimated to create approximately 600 person-years of direct employment for Patria from 2023 to 2031, signifies a long-term commitment with employment effects extending into the 2040s. 

Petri Hepola, chief programme officer, F-35 at Patria, emphasises the agreement’s significance. “This F-35 service agreement between Patria and the Finnish Defence Forces is yet another step forward for the entire Finnish F-35 programme and Patria. 

With this agreement, the Finnish Defence Forces will receive national solution for F-35 maintenance and service capabilities, which are significant for Finland’s security of supply. On the other hand, the agreement creates the basis for Patria for competence development towards a new generation system.”

The company’s involvement in the F-35 programme includes major assembly projects for the front fuselages, catering to domestic needs and serving international users. Additionally, Patria will collaborate with Pratt & Whitney to assemble F135 engines powering the Finnish F-35s.

Simultaneously, Patria has signed a deal with the Logistics Command to deliver Tracked Bridge Layer Vehicles. The agreement, valued at approximately 23.6m euros, will see the procurement of six Leopard 2L bridge layers capable of transporting, launching, and retrieving LEGUAN bridges of varying lengths. 

This marks the company’s third batch of Leopard 2L bridge layers, further solidifying its role as the principal supplier of system integrations and heavy equipment to the Finnish Defence Forces.

Scheduled for delivery between 2026 and 2028, the project is expected to generate approximately 70 person-years of work, showcasing Patria’s commitment to national security.

Patria is also known for providing armoured personnel carriers to the Finnish Army. In the past, Patria has provided the XA-203, XA-202, XA-360, XA-361 AMOS, and the XA-180/185, according to GlobalData’s “Finland Defense Market 2023-2028” report.

Finland has increased its defence budget, projected to reach $6.3bn in 2023, marking a shift from its longstanding policy of neutrality after joining NATO in April 2023. Fueled by security concerns stemming from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, the heightened spending focuses on modernising the Navy, Air Force, and Army.