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Finnish Air Force selects F-35A

Finland is the latest among a host of nations to select the Lockheed Martin-built fighter jet to bolster its long-range stealth capability.

Finland is the latest among a host of nations to select the Lockheed Martin-built fighter jet to bolster its long-range stealth capability.

The Finnish government has ordered 64 Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II multirole stealth fighters as part of its HX Fighter program.

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The deal includes the provision of a robust weapons package, a bespoke sustainment offering, and a training program.

Local Finnish firms are expected to be offered work opportunities via indirect industrial participation projects outside of F-35 production.

Lockheed Martin has committed to building industry partnerships with Finnish companies and academic institutions.

"We are honoured the government of Finland through its thorough, open competition has selected the F-35, and we look forward to partnering with the Finnish Defence Forces and Finnish defence industry to deliver and sustain the F-35 aircraft," Bridget Lauderdale, Lockheed Martin's vice president and general manager of the F-35 Program, said.

"The F-35 will provide Finnish industries unique digital capabilities that leverage fifth-generation engineering and manufacturing.

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“The production work will continue for more than 20 years, and the F-35 sustainment work will continue into the 2070s."

The F-35 is billed as the most advanced, survivable and connected fighter aircraft in the world.

The aircraft is interoperable with surface and air platforms.

Finland is the latest nation to opt-in to the F-35 program, joining nine nations, including Australia, which has ordered 72 platforms.

All 72 jets are expected to be fully operational by 2023, with an option to expand the fleet to a maximum of 100 aircraft.   

The Royal Australian Air Force recently received three new F-35 jets, taking the total size of the existing fleet to 44.

The new aircraft touched down in RAAF Base Williamtown, where these were accepted by No. 77 Squadron.

[Related: RAAF Base Tindal welcomes F-35As into service]

Finnish Air Force selects F-35A
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