Finland is to receive 64 Block 4 standard F-35As from 2025 to 2030. (US Air Force)
Finland has signed the first series of agreements related to the procurement of the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) that was selected to fulfil its HX fighter replacement requirement in late 2021.
The Finnish Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on 11 February that the government had signed the first Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) documents, which under the US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) structure constitute the procurement agreement.
“On 11 February Major General Kari Renko, Chief of the Defence Forces Logistics Command, signed in Tampere the LOA documents on F-35A aircraft and their maintenance services,” the MoD said, adding that the LOAs signed covered 64 Block 4 standard F-35As to be delivered from 2025 to 2030, as well as maintenance equipment and training. At the same time, Minister of Defence Antti Kaikkonen signed an agreement with Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney related to industrial participation.
As noted by the MoD, further LOAs will be signed during 2022 pertaining, in particular, to the aircraft's weapons packages, with the ministry saying, “In accordance with the procurement proposal submitted to the [Finnish] government in December 2021, the agreements on procuring air-to-ground and air-to-surface weapons will be made later. This will ensure that the weapon composition can be optimised, for example, in terms of the number and types of weapons, so that Finland will have a high-performance F-35 system when entering the 2030s.”