The US has sanctioned the sale of Stinger missile to the NATO applicant.
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The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has announced the approval of a US$380 million (AU$567 million) order for 350 FIM-92K Stinger man-portable missiles and five Production Verification Flight Test (PVFT) FIM-92K Stinger man-portable missiles from the Finnish government.
The proposed transaction also includes the provision of:
- support equipment;
- production support;
- engineering and technical services; and
- transportation services.
“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by improving the security of a trusted partner which is an important force for political stability and economic progress in Europe,” the DSCA noted in a statement.
“It is vital to the US national interest to assist Finland in developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defence capability.
“The proposed sale will improve Finland’s defence and deterrence capabilities. Finland intends to use these defence articles and services to increase its national stock.”
According to the DSCA, the Stinger missiles would strengthen the land and air defence capabilities in Europe’s northern flank, supporting the US European Command’s “top priorities”.
US approval of the Stinger sale came just days after the US State Department rubber-stamped Finland’s request to purchase 40 AIM 9X Block II tactical missiles, four AIM 9X Block II tactical guidance units, and 48 AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapons (JSOW).
The air-to-air and air-to-surface weapons would be deployed from Finland’s fleet of fighter aircraft.
The deal is reportedly valued at approximately US$323.3 million (AU$485.8 million).
These sales come amid growing instability in the region, particularly amid Russia’s ongoing assault against Ukraine.
Finland, along with its Nordic neighbour Sweden, has applied for NATO membership to shore-up its security in the event of a Russian attack.
Both nations completed ascension talks with NATO representatives in July, with allies subsequently signing the Accession Protocols for Finland and Sweden at NATO Headquarters on 5 July 2022.
The Accession Protocols are currently subject to approval from all NATO countries for ratification.