Monday, August 9, 2010

DTN News: Finland Upgrading Hornet Fighters

Defense News: DTN News: Finland Upgrading Hornet Fighters
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources including YLE Finnish Broadcasting Corp.; issued Aug. 8, 2010
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - August 10, 2010: The Finnish Defence Forces are preparing to spend more than a billion euros in the upgrading of its fleet of F-18 Hornet jet fighters.
The US-built planes are at about the halfway point of their effective lifespans. The upgrade is set to extend their usefulness so that new fighters would not be needed before 2025. Nevertheless, the Finnish Air Forces is looking at other possible jet fighters on the market.
The most recent achievement of advanced military aviation is the American F-35 fighter, which Norway’s air force is planning to acquire.
Finland is also looking at the F-35, although the super-modern jet is also super expensive.
Precision Weapons for Hornet
The Air Force says that it is now concentrating on the upgrading of the Hornet.
The planes, which are primarily attended to give the Finns the capability to repulse an attack, are being modified to function as assault planes, capable of hitting land targets from a long distance.
Army Also Upgrading Equipment
The Finnish Army is also planning to upgrade much of its materiel. East German equipment, including Leopard tanks which were acquired in the 1990s, is becoming obsolete.
A key requirement in new acquisitions is compatibility with NATO systems, even though Finland has no immediate plans to join the alliance.
Finnish Air Force - F-18 Hornet
The F-18 Hornet is the Finnish Air Force variant of the Boeing IDS F/A-18 Hornet multi-role attack and fighter aircraft. The aircraft is almost identical to a late F/A-18C/D used by the US Navy, as well as the Hornets used by the Swiss Air Force, although no air-to-ground equipment or weapons were purchased with the aircraft. The decision to rename the aircraft to F-18 was mainly a political decision to underline the air defense role of the fighters.
The decision to purchase the aircraft (64 in total, with 7 two-seat F-18D models and 57 single-seated F-18C models) was made in 1992, soon after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. The original plan was to buy about 40 western fighters and about 20 Soviet fighters due to political reasons, but after the collapse of the Soviet Union this was no longer necessary. The plan changed to 60 single-seat + 7 dual seat fighters of the same type, and the F-18 won the contest. To keep the budget the number of fighters to be purchased was decreased by three, to 57+7. The 57 single-seat aircraft were produced in Finland by Patria.
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News, contact:
YLE Finnish Broadcasting Corp. ~ Related News

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