Finland to Buy US JASSM-ER Missiles for F-35 Fleet

Finland has announced the acquisition of US Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range (JASSM-ER) weapons for its air force.

The purchase is part of the country’s F-35 integration timeline, equipping its upcoming fighter jets with air-to-surface capabilities as it replaces the aging A-18 Hornet fleet.

Finland’s Defence Forces Logistics Command will manage the sale, which also includes manuals and documentation, replacement parts, and transportation services.

Manufacturer and supplier training, repair, and support services will be provided by the US from 2024 to 2031.

“The range, accuracy and survivability of the weapon effect will essentially contribute to our own countermeasures to stop a potential aggressor. Apart from the other F-35 features, the current procurement will enhance our defence capability significantly,” F-35 program director Colonel (Ret.) Henrik Elo stated.

Bolstering Finland’s Skies

Finland’s F-35 fleet, which will consist of 64 jets, was ordered from US firm Lockheed Martin in a deal worth 8.4 billion euros ($9.5 billion) in 2021.

Lockheed was chosen to equip Helsinki with newer air defense capabilities among offers from Boeing, Dassault, Saab, and the Eurofighter consortium.

Its first F-35s are expected to be delivered by 2026, with the entire A-18 Hornet fleet being phased out by 2030.

Local industry leaders such as Patria have been tapped to collaborate and build assemblies for the F-35’s structural components.

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