HELSINKI – New fighter planes in a new light

Finland is about to decide the successor to its current Hornet fighter plane fleet in 2021 but an expected recession and budget cuts in many sectors are casting doubt over the purchase.

The rethink comes as no surprise since the coronavirus has re-written budget plans. But for PM Sanna Marin’s five-party coalition in a ‘post-corona world’, this could mean trouble as opposition lawmakers in favour of the purchase scent blood.

Bidding in the race are Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet (US), Dassault Rafale (France), Eurofighter Typhoon (GB), Lockheed Martin F-35 (US) and Saab Gripen (Sweden). The price tag for the sixty new fighters has been set to €10 billion.

Planes for the Finnish Air Force should be fully operational by 2025.

While the purchase will take place, the country may buy fewer planes than planned or within a longer time span. (Pekka Vänttinen |

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