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F-35: The Best Choice for Finland
The F-35 Lightning II, built by Lockheed Martin, is the world’s premiere 5th Generation multirole stealth fighter, designed to defend against current and emerging threats. With a combination of stealth, sensor fusion and unmatched situational awareness, the F-35 can ensure Finland’s homeland security for decades to come.
When it comes to deterring threats, the F-35 has the unmatched capability to secure the Finnish airspace. Its stealth capabilities are unprecedented in tactical fighter aviation, allowing pilots to counter threats undetected, complete the mission at hand, and return the pilot home to safety. An integrated airframe design, advanced materials and other specialized design features give the F-35 this significant advantage over 4th Generation aircraft.
In addition,the F-35 has the most powerful and comprehensive integrated sensor package of any fighter aircraft in history. Data collected by these sensors will immediately be shared with commanders at sea, in the air or on the ground, providing an instantaneous view of multi-mission operations. The Distributed Aperture System (DAS), which sends high resolution real-time imagery to the pilot’s helmet from six cameras mounted around the jet, combined with the Helmet Mounted Display (HMD), which displays all critical information a pilot needs to operate the mission.
The F-35 combines unprecedented operational capability with an affordable and efficient global sustainment network, making it the most cost-effective solution for Finland.
According to the most recent F-35 contract reached in September 2018, the approximate per variant unit prices, including jet, engine and fee are as follows:
- F-35A: $89.2 million
- F-35B: $115.5 million
- F-35C $107.7 million
The F-35 cost is gradually reducing each year and the Unit Recurring Flyaway cost will be less than $80 million per jet by 2020, making the cost of a 5th Generation F-35A equivalent to a 4th Generation fighter – with a substantial capability advantage. All F-35 customers share supply chain, flight and maintenance training, and integrated operations costs, providing significant savings for operators. Several countries in Europe, including Norway, are already flying the F-35, which will provide even more opportunities for cost-sharing and partnership.
In the scope of HX Program, Security of Supply (SoS) stands for sovereign capability for undisturbed sustainment of the HX weapon system in time of crisis. This capability is attained and maintained at all organizational levels in peacetime.
At the national level, SoS is guaranteed by establishing critical and supporting maintenance capabilities in Finland and by quantifying the necessary level of materiel stock in country. Technological know-how and a capability to make airworthiness decisions independently are paramount for attaining the required level of SoS. This also ensures sufficient amount of skilled personnel for dispersed operations in time of crisis.
International cooperation is essential facing today’s ever-evolving global threats. The F-35 strengthens all branches of armed forces and enables better defense cooperation. It makes the Finnish Defense Forces a part of an international community of F-35 operators, which further enhances interoperability using the world’s most advanced and survivable technology.
The F-35 Lightning II can help Finland ensure its national security and its ability for building partnerships and interoperability for decades to come.