Finland picks Lockheed Martin F-35A in $11B defense deal

Dec 10, 2021, 7:17 AM | Updated: 11:21 am
Finland's Prime Minister Sanna Marin, left and Minister of Defense Antti Kaikkonen take part in a p...

Finland's Prime Minister Sanna Marin, left and Minister of Defense Antti Kaikkonen take part in a press conference, in Helsinki, Finland, Friday, Dec. 10, 2021. (Vesa Moilanen/ Lehtikuva via AP)

(Vesa Moilanen/ Lehtikuva via AP)

HELSINKI (AP) — Finland has agreed to buy 64 Lockheed Martin fighter jets to replace its aging fleet of combat planes in a 10 billion-euro ($11.3 billion) deal that represents the Finnish military’s largest ever purchase, the government said Friday.

The Nordic country picked the U.S. company’s F-35A fighters from among five contenders, which also included the Boeing F-18 Super Hornet, France’s Dassault Rafale, Britain’s Eurofighter Typhoon and Sweden’s Saab Gripen.

The Finnish air force has a fleet of more than 60 F-18 Hornets, acquired in the early 1990s. It started looking for a successor aircraft in 2014.

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said her government’s decision, based on a recommendation by the Finnish Defense Forces, to purchase F-35A was unanimous.

“New fighters are a key part of Finland’s defense,” Marin told a press conference. “Fighters protect the integrity of Finnish airspace, protect society from airstrikes and support (Finnish) army and navy operations.”

The Defense Ministry said Friday that the price tag for the deal with Lockheed Martin includes training and other equipment.

The U.S. aerospace, arms and defense company said in a statement it was “honored” the Finnish government picked the F-35 “through its thorough, open competition.”

Lockheed Martin said the deal would include “a robust weapons package, a sustainment solution tailored to Finland’s unique security of supply requirements, as well as a comprehensive training program.”

Direct procurement from Lockheed, including weapons, is worth about 8.4 billion euros with the additional 1.6 billion earmarked for the weapons package optimization, equipment, construction of hangars and future amendments, the Finnish government said.

Maj. Gen. Pasi Jokinen, commander of the Finnish air force, said the F-35 was chosen for its performance in combat, reconnaissance and survival capability.

European Union member Finland is a militarily non-aligned nation but closely cooperates with NATO in a way similar to neighboring Sweden.

Switzerland, another militarily non-aligned European country, and NATO members Denmark and Norway previously decided to buy the F-35.

Finland, which shares a 1,340-kilometer (832-mile) border with Russia, has increased its bilateral defense and military cooperation with Sweden, Norway and the United States in the past few years.

Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed Martin said Friday that there are currently more than 730 F-35s in service worldwide.

——

Jan M. Olsen in Copenhagen, Denmark contributed to this report.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Baby’s father charged in slaying of stroller-pushing NYC mom

NEW YORK (AP) — The ex-boyfriend of a New York City woman shot dead Wednesday as she pushed their infant daughter in a stroller has been arrested and charged with killing her, police said Friday. Slain mother Azsia Johnson’s family identified suspect Isaac Argro as the baby’s father and said he routinely abused Johnson, beating […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

Judge: Sheriff must post bail after anti-harassment order

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — The sheriff of Pierce County, Washington, was ordered to post $100,000 bail while he awaits trial on false-reporting charges related to his controversial confrontation last year with a Black newspaper carrier. Judge Jeffrey Jahns on Friday imposed the bail — 10 times the amount requested by prosecutors — during a hearing […]
19 hours ago
FILE - Lights illuminate a coal mine at twilight, Jan. 13, 2022, in Kemmerer, Wyo. With the nearby ...
Associated Press

Court leaves dwindling paths for Biden’s climate mission

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 500 days into his presidency, Joe Biden’s hope for saving the Earth from the most devastating effects of climate change may not quite be dead. But it’s not far from it. A Supreme Court ruling Thursday not only limited the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate climate pollution by power […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

Sheriff: People getting out of Texas trailer were work crew

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — A group of people who were spotted getting in and out of a parked semitrailer in San Antonio were part of a work crew, not a human-smuggling operation, authorities said Friday. Authorities checked the vehicle after someone alerted a deputy constable to it, just days after 53 migrants died when they […]
19 hours ago
Lauren Wright, a Navy spouse whose family was sickened by jet fuel in their tap water, shows her su...
Associated Press

Distrust remains after Navy report on tainted Hawaii water

HONOLULU (AP) — Lauren Wright continues to be leery of the water coming out of the taps in her family’s U.S. Navy home in Hawaii, saying she doesn’t trust that it’s safe. Wright, her sailor husband and their three children ages 8 to 17 were among the thousands of people who were sickened late last […]
19 hours ago
FILE - Joey Gilbert waits before a Republican primary debate for Nevada governor Wednesday, May 25,...
Associated Press

Clerks complete recount of Nevada Republican governor’s race

RENO, Nev. (AP) — County election officials wrapped up a two-day statewide recount of ballots in the Nevada GOP primary for governor Friday and the outcome did not appear to change in the state’s two most populous counties, showing second-place finisher Joey Gilbert losing to Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo in a crowded field. The […]
19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
...
Christina O’Haver

BE FAST to spot a stroke

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
Finland picks Lockheed Martin F-35A in $11B defense deal