As Finland is heading toward the largest military purchase in its history, the suspense is building. The modernization of the Finnish Air Force is expected to cost up to €10 billion ($12.5 billion), with at least as much spent on maintenance and updates in the upcoming 30 years, Finnish national broadcaster Yle reported. Finland’s current fleet of 64 US F-18 Hornets is estimated to have seven to twelve years left in operation. To offset their gradual decommission, the Nordic nation has five replacement contenders on its radar: the F-35 (Lockheed Martin), the F/A-18 Super Hornet (Boeing), the Gripen E (Saab), the Rafale (Dassault) and the Eurofighter Typhoon. According to Lauri Puranen of the Defense Ministry, the stakes are particularly high as the goal is to acquire a system that will be still in service after 30 years and will be able to be updated further on to meet the challenges of tomorrow. © CC0The F-35 Fiasco: Prized Fighter Jets Catch Norway NappingAccording to Puranen, it is therefore about “getting a whole system with many components” rather than an array of aircraft. Therefore, factors such as sensors, wiring and ability to work in units will be considered, he stressed. Puranen revealed that the purchase price/maintenance cost ratio is expected to be 40/60. Charly Salonius-Pasternak of the Finnish Foreign Affairs Institute argued that the upgradability of the new aircraft is crucial, as it yet difficult to envisage… Read full this story
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