The U.S. government and Lockheed Martin submitted an F-35 best and final offer (BAFO) on April 29, 2021, to the Finnish government in support of its competition to replace its current fighter fleet. The F-35 offering is a total package that includes F-35A aircraft and a sustainment solution tailored to meet Finnish security of supply requirements to support all operational needs if in a closed border scenario. The BAFO also includes many first-of-a-kind opportunities for Finnish industry to work directly on F-35 production and sustainment.
Through indirect industrial participation projects outside of F-35 production, Lockheed Martin will also build partnerships with Finnish companies and academic institutions that offer opportunities focused on developing and advancing security collaborations. To date, the F-35 has been selected by 13 nations and operates from 27 bases worldwide, with nine nations operating F-35s on their home soil. More than 630 F-35s are in service today, with more than 1,300 pilots and 10,380 maintainers trained on the aircraft.
“The F-35 will provide Finnish industries high technology job opportunities that no other competitor can offer,” said Bridget Lauderdale, F-35 Program vice president and general manager. “The production work will continue for more than 20 years, and the F-35 sustainment work will continue into the 2050s. Not only will Finland support its own F-35s, but it will directly support the global fleet of F-35s through the production of major components.”
The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is an American family of single-seat, single-engine, all-weather stealth multirole combat aircraft that is intended to perform both air superiority and strike missions. With stealth technology, supersonic speed, advanced sensors, weapons capacity and increased range, the F-35 is the most advanced, survivable and connected aircraft in the world. It is also the most affordable solution for the Finnish Air Force’s future fighter fleet as the only 5th Generation fighter at the cost of 4th Generation aircraft. Lockheed Martin is the prime F-35 contractor, with principal partners Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems.