Finland forges ahead

Derek Bower evaluates the Finnish aerospace industry as the nation’s air force celebrates its centenary while preparing to replace its Hornets.

Finnish Air Force F/A-18D HN4564 conducts an aerial refuelling mission over Finland with a USAF KC-135 Stratotanker (assigned to RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk), in May last year. Finland originally acquired only seven two-seat Hornets and the HX buy could see an increased proportion of ‘twin-stickers’. USAF/Tech Sgt David Dobrydney
A Finnish Hornet re-joins the fray during an Arctic Challenge Exercise sortie over Norway. Under the HX requirement, Finland plans to acquire 64 new fighters to replace its 62 surviving Hornets. USAF/1st Lt Christopher Mesnard

Established as an independent entity on March 6, 1918, the Finnish Air Force (Ilmavoimat) – one of several national air arms celebrating a centenary this year – marked its first 100 years with a huge airshow in June.

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