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Finland to Build New Air Base in Lapland for Its F-35 Fighters

By Igor Kuznetsov | Samizdat | May 31, 2022

The first of the 64 US-made F-35 fighter jets that will arrive in Finland in 2026 will be placed at a new air base in Lapland, its northernmost county. Its construction will begin this year and will cost the Nordic country 150 million euros ($161 million), the national broadcaster Yle reported.

According to the commander of the Lapland air base, Colonel Tuukka Karjalainen, the location was chosen based on its proximity to Norway, a NATO member which already uses F-35s. As of now, Finland’s northernmost air force base, in Rovaniemi, stages regular training missions with the Swedish and Norwegian air forces. To begin with, the new base will receive two to six new aircraft.

“The hope is that this will create opportunities for cooperation and facilitate the implementation of the technology,” Tuukka Karjalainen told Yle. “We are very pleased. We are proud to be adopting new equipment. The jobs at the Lapland air base will certainly attract many,” he added.

According to Karjalainen, auxiliary buildings, fences and roads will be built by the end of this year. The main construction will begin in the first half of 2023. Over the past two years, the cost estimate has soared by tens of millions of euros, with Karjalainen blaming stricter technical requirements and increased prices.

Pilots, mechanics and maintenance personnel will be trained in the US. According to Karjalainen, 18 pilots and about 50 technicians will go to the US for training in 2025. Later, they themselves will train specialists in Finland.

The Finnish Air Forces announced the purchase of 64 Lockheed Martin F-35 multi-role fighters back in February in an 8.4 billion euro ($9 billion) deal with the US defence contractor. The new fighters will replace Finland’s ageing fleet of F-18 Hornets, which is planned to be phased out by 2030.

Previously, Finland’s neighbours Norway and Denmark opted to make the F-35 the backbone of their air forces, procuring 52 and 27 fighter jets respectively.

May 31, 2022 - Posted by | Militarism | ,

2 Comments »

  1. Finland’s wish to join NATO is incredibly stupid and buying the Bradley vehicle with wings will not make them stronger!

    Like

    Comment by papasha408 | May 31, 2022 | Reply

  2. Finishedland install nets at new air base to catch falling 35s.

    Like

    Comment by 5 dancing shlomos | May 31, 2022 | Reply


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