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Patria to build assembly plant for F-35A programme in Finland

By Defence Industry Europe

The Finnish government has granted approval for the defense conglomerate Patria to construct an assembly plant for F-35A Lightning II programme. Patria will produce F-35 components and assemble engines for F-35 fighters as a local industry partner. This move is part of a broader contract signed with Lockheed Martin in February 2022, under which Finland agreed to purchase 65 F-35A Block 4 aircraft for a total of USD 9.6 billion USD.

 

The agreement includes a first-tier industrial component that requires the Finnish government to lease land for the new facility, located near the city of Nokia. Construction is set to begin in the latter half of this year, with the complex also housing a service center for Pratt & Whitney F135 engines, ensuring support throughout the aircraft’s operational lifespan.

 

 

Ownership of Patria is split between the Finnish government, holding a 50.1% stake, and the Norwegian conglomerate Kongsberg. The plant is expected to start assembling the first batch of F-35As by 2030.

 

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The F-35A jets will replace the Finnish Air Force’s current fleet of McDonnell Douglas F-18C/D Hornets, originally purchased in 1992. This modernization effort is part of the HX program launched in April 2018, which aimed to find a successor to the F-18, culminating in the selection of the F-35A in December 2021.

 

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