ANKARA: Finland on Friday announced it will purchase 64 Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II fighter jets from the US.
An official statement said the first F-35s will be delivered in 2026, replacing the F-18 Hornet fleet in the inventory between 2028 and 2030.
The acquisition equals approximately €8.378B ($9.45B), €4.703B for the fighter jets, and the rest for a comprehensive weaponry package that includes different air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles, as well as maintenance and training services until 2030.
Finland will be the third Scandinavian country buying the F-35. Norway has already received its first jets, while Denmark expects its first F-35 to arrive in 2023.
The country already operates 55 of the originally purchased 64 US-made F-18 Hornet fighter jets.
Defense Minister Antti Kaikkonen said the F-35 system is the best for Finland’s needs in terms of performance.
“The F-35 met all the criteria we required. The defense of the homeland is kept in order,” he tweeted.–Anadolu