Patria Aviation to create industrial base for F-35 service

By Defence Industry Europe

Finnish Defence Minister Antti Häkkänen has authorized the Finnish Defence Forces to finalize a contract with Patria Aviation Oy to develop service capabilities for F-35 fighters. This move, supported by the Government's Finance Committee on December 14, 2023, marks a crucial step in enhancing Finland's defence infrastructure.

 

The contract focuses on developing the industrial cooperation capabilities of the Air Force’s F-35 project. Patria Aviation Oy will provide services that include one-off work for building the F-35 system’s industrial cooperation capabilities, along with necessary machines, equipment, tools, and information systems for production. Additionally, the contract covers support to achieve full production velocity.

The contract, spanning from 2023 to 2026, is estimated to be worth a maximum of EUR 90 million, excluding value-added tax. Including the value-added tax of 24% (EUR 21.6 million), the total estimated cost of the contract reaches approximately EUR 111.6 million.

 

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This acquisition will occur in three phases, with the current authorization covering the first phase (2023–2026) up to EUR 90 million. The details of the subsequent phases will be refined during the first phase’s implementation.

The direct employment impact of this agreement for Patria Aviation Oy is projected to be 600 person-years from 2023 to 2031, with long-lasting effects extending into the 2040s. As Patria is a domestic company, all work will be conducted in Finland, bolstering the local economy.

The procurement is pivotal in building and maintaining domestic F-35 system maintenance and service capability, crucial for Finland’s military security. It ensures the management of expertise and technology domestically, enhancing the F-35 system’s maintenance reliability under both normal and exceptional conditions, thus promoting its operational independence.

This service agreement is part of the larger industrial cooperation agreement involving the Ministry of Defence, Lockheed Martin, and Pratt & Whitney. Under this agreement, the companies must fulfill their industrial cooperation obligations within ten years.

 

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The primary focus of the F-35 project’s industrial cooperation is creating significant, independent maintenance capabilities in Finland, thereby enhancing the nation’s security of supply and contributing significantly to the national economy.

“The services being procured will enable Finland to establish a robust service and maintenance capability for the F-35 system, crucial for its military security. Moreover, the infrastructure and expertise resulting from this agreement with Patria will establish an F-35 competence center in Finland, strengthening our position within the F-35 user community,” stated Engineer Brigadier General Juha-Matti Ylitalo, Deputy Director of the Logistics Department of the Defence Forces.

This initiative is essential for fulfilling the industrial cooperation and security of supply requirements of the HX fighter project, where industrial cooperation was mandated to be at least 30% of the purchase price.

 

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