Finland, which borders on Russia and has warred with the Bear in the past, is not part of NATO. Instead, Finland chooses to find its own way, though it does use NATO-compatible gear. Soon that will include the F-35, which has won an $11 billion tender to be Finland’s next fighter jet. Bloomberg reports:
Finland is set to pick Lockheed Martin Corp. F-35 fighter jets as part of a 10 billion-euro ($11.3 billion) tender to replace soon-outdated war planes that are key to defending the Russian border, according to a report in local media.
A fleet of F-35s will be acquired due to their capability and expected long lifespan, newspaper Iltalehti said, citing a number of defense and security sources it didn’t identify. The Defense Forces made the proposal to the Defense Ministry, which backs the motion along with top foreign-policy makers, the newspaper said on Sunday.
Selecting the Lockheed Martin warplanes would align the Nordic country with the U.S. for the coming decades through industrial cooperation that accounts for almost a third of the order price. Finland is not a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, though it trains with the alliance and uses NATO-compatible gear.
Your Survival Guy has discussed Finland’s “Quiet Military Might” before, noting what Outside calls the “Red Dawn in Lapland,” strategy Findland would use to engage Russia in battle. Outside writes:
The Finns are loathe to reveal much about their arsenal but happy to discuss their successful conscription program, large reserve force (900,000 strong), and national will to fight, which surveys suggest is second only to Israel’s. Finland has some of the most sophisticated rocket systems in the world, it recently purchased 120 new tactical drones, and it’s set to buy 60 new warplanes this year. It also has a $1.4 billion upgrade planned for select warships in the coming years.
Last year, Finland passed a law shortening the call-up time for reservists. Meanwhile, a center for excellence in so-called hybrid defense—the now common mix of cyber and conventional tactics—just opened in Helsinki. There, EU specialists and allies will monitor threats and research how best to counter those that fall into that vast gray area between peace and conflict, cyber hostility and real-world weaponry. As one U.S. Defense Department official told me, the plan “fits the narrative of Finns stepping up security, not just for themselves but for neighbors as well.”
Get a glimpse of Finland’s defense forces training in the video below.
Action Line: No doubt the Finns were watching when the F-35 took down the competition in a test run by the Swiss during their own fighter contest. When you live on the border with Russia, it pays to get your gun (or F-35 stealth fighter jet) and your training, now.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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