Helsinki announced the signing of a contract of 8.4 billion euros with American Lockheed Martin for 64 F-35 fighter fighters. Another crushing setback for the Rafale in Europe.

F-35 fighter jet
[F-35 fighter jet]

The Rafale must kneel once more. Finland stated on Friday that it has decided to rebuild its fleet with the American F-35. The contract is for 64 F35-A aircraft for 8.4 billion euros. It is the country's largest armaments contract in its history.

The F-35, a fifth generation stealth aircraft produced by Lockheed Martin, will replace the sixty F / A-18s now in service with the Finnish Air Force. The new fighter planes must fly until 2060. They will be in charge of protecting a 1,300-kilometer border with Russia.

Supremacy in Europe

At a news conference, Defense Minister Antti Kaikkonen stated, "The F-35 has satisfied the standards for readiness, industrial collaboration, and affordability." When it came to military capabilities, the overall system of the F-35 was the finest to suit our requirements. It had the best combat, intelligence, and resilience capabilities.

In Finland, the F-35 fought against the Eurofighter Typhoon, the Saab Gripen, the Boeing Super Hornet, and, most notably, the Dassault Rafale. Thus, the American plane achieves its second triumph in a few months on European soil over its French enemy. Lockheed Martin had previously stolen a 36-plane order from Switzerland in June, while the Rafale had been declared the winner for a while.

The European market is a favorite of the American aircraft maker. This brings the total number of contracts negotiated with European countries to nine. Before Switzerland and Finland, the F-35 was picked by the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Denmark, Italy, and Poland.

The Rafale, which has just signed its largest export triumph with an order for 80 aircraft from the United Arab Emirates for a total of 16 billion euros, is not entirely depleted on the Old Continent. Dassault received a two-stage order for 24 devices from Greece this year. Last month, Emmanuel Macron said that Croatia had purchased 12 old jets. However, the French jet was never able to establish itself on the European market while its American opponent was present.

Bitter reaction 

Finland, which is not a member of NATO in order to preserve a degree of neutrality toward its Russian neighbor, has maintained a strong collaboration with NATO since 1994, which has been enhanced in recent years in the face of Russia's hostile approach. Finland is a member of the bolstered NATO Response Force (NRF). Thus, the government underlines that it will be ahead of its neighbors Denmark and Norway, both of which have F-35s.

The second partner, Sweden, which wanted to strengthen its relationship with Helsinki by selling its Gripen jets (Saab group), expressed disappointment while vowing to continue working with its "closest partner in terms of security and defense." Boeing also commented on a difficult decision, emphasizing that the business continues to rely on strong worldwide demand in the Super Hornet. Dassault Aviation, for one, is sad that it is essential to recognize and deplore "an American preference in Europe" once more.

The Finns explained their decision by citing a lower-cost offer with superior operational efficiency, capacity expansion opportunities, supply security, and a good potential for the country's sector with the creation of 4,500 employment. direct. Lockheed Martin has offered to build fuselage and component facilities in Finland, as well as provide maintenance. Cooperation with Pratt and Whitney is also guaranteed for the final construction of the aircraft engines. The contract includes weapons as well as the acquisition of combat jets until 2035.

The F-35 has finished the year on a good note

In any event, the year 2021 finishes with significant export triumphs for the F-35. Switzerland adjusted the contracts for its 36 F-35A jets to reflect current exchange rates, bringing the total bill to 6.035 billion francs (5.79 billion euros) for fighter jets, or about 600 million more than previously announced, and 1.98 billion francs (1.9 billion euros) for Raytheon Patriot ground-to-air defense system units. The Swiss Parliament must be presented with these committed allocations next year. A group opposed to the fighter jet is attempting to gather the 100,000 signatures required for a fresh popular consultation on the plane's merits.

Finally, Canada, which must modernize its fighter aircraft fleet and had put the F-35, Boeing's Super Hornet, and the Swedish Saab's Gripen in competition, appears to have eliminated Boeing, leaving the path nearly clear for the American hunter.

The F35 is available in 15 countries worldwide. Outside of Europe and the United States, the multirole aircraft, of which 30 copies have been produced to far, may be found in Israel, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and Singapore. The more the plane is sold, the lower its cost price becomes, with Lockheed reporting a 44 percent decrease in the cost of a flying hour since 2015.
Previous Post Next Post