The 1,300-kilometre border separating Finland and Russia is getting a makeover as the government wants new fences on some parts of the Eastern border and to replace two Dornier 228 surveillance aircraft with new multirole planes.
After World War II, Finland built border guard stations along the Russian border 10 to 50 kilometres apart, and units patrolled the area. However, with the economic recession of the 1990s, the Finnish Border Guard sold all its guard stations in the 1990s, and many were turned into summer cottages.
However, after Russia sent refugees to the Finnish border from 2015-to 2016, and now with the war in Ukraine, Finland is looking to strengthen its border security.
In its report on changes in the security environment in April this year, the government said it would direct new resources to border security.
The government has allocated €163 million for the purchase, and the request for information to potential aircraft suppliers was sent in April.
Preparations to put solid fences on some parts of the Eastern border are already underway though funding and political decisions still need to be taken, Deputy Chief of the Border Guard, Admiral Markku Hassinen told Helsingin Sanomat in a recent interview. Baltic states will be asked about the practicality of such fences.