Finland Buying 64 F-35A Lightning II Fighter Jets for $9.4 Billion

Finland Buying 64 F-35A Lightning II Fighter Jets for $9.4 Billion
Two U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II fighter aircraft, assigned to the 421st Fighter Squadron, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, right, fly in formation with two Finnish F-18 Hornets, left, while en route to Turku, Finland, June 13, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jovante Johnson)

Finland is buying 64 F-35A Lightning II fighter stealth fighter jets for $9.4 Billion to replace its F/A-18 Hornet fleet.

The Finnish government has chosen U.S. defence giant Lockheed Martin F-35A fighters combat jets as the winner of the HX Program and plans to order 64 planes with weapons systems, the government said on Friday.

“When comparing military performance, the F-35 best met our needs,” Defence Minister Antti Kaikkonen told a news conference.

The construction of hangars and other equipment will add a further 777 million euros, and 824 million euros will be reserved for the final optimised weapons package and to control future contract amendments, it added.

Lockheed Martin competed in a tender for the deal with Sweden’s Saab, U.S. rival Boeing, France’s Dassault and Britain’s BAE Systems.

Finland is the 14th nation to opt for the F-35. It will begin phasing in the F-35 from 2027 onwards, said Airforce Commander Pasi Jokinen.

“The F-35 will provide Finnish industries unique digital capabilities that leverage 5th generation engineering and manufacturing,” said Bridget Lauderdale, Lockheed Martin’s vice president and general manager of the F-35 programme.

“The production work will continue for more than 20 years, and the F-35 sustainment work will continue into the 2070s,” Lauderdale said in a statement.

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