In a press release, Dassault Aviation expressed its disappointment at Finland’s choice to equip itself with American F-35s to the detriment of the three European proposals.
“Once again, we note and regret an American preference in Europe”. Dassault’s message speaks volumes about the disappointment of Finland’s choice for the American F-35, leading to the loss of European offers. For this contract worth about 10 billion euros, three other aircraft were in operation: the French Rafale (Dassault Aviation, Swedish Gripen and Eurofighter.
“Dassault Aviation pays attention to the sovereign decision of the Finnish authorities to choose the American solution”, acknowledges the French group with a touch of bitterness.
On Thursday, during a press point at the Ministry of the Armed Forces, Thierry Carlier, General Engineer of Arms, the director of the International Development of Armaments (DGA), again developed this contract between those who were Dassault. Could still sign.
This frustration with European sovereignty in defence is not the first. Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer of the F-35, has won several contracts in Europe for 34 fighter jets in Belgium, Denmark (27), the Netherlands (37), Poland (32), Norway (52) and Italy. 90). We must also count sales in the United Kingdom (138) and Switzerland (36).
500 F-35s in Europe by 2035
The United States is now trying to sign with the Czech Republic, Greece and even Spain, which is nonetheless a partner with France and Germany for the Scaf (future air combat system). A Lockheed Martin executive has revealed the discussions. Madrid denied, but the US aircraft manufacturer confirmed the meetings.
According to expert Gareth Jennings, there should be more than 500 F-35s in Europe by 2035.
But unlike other countries, Finnish does not like no wonder, From the start in 2015 experts believed that the Finnish government tender was structured to open the doors for the F-35. Finland is not part of NATO, but trains with the Coalition and uses equipment compatible with the Air Force of the North Atlantic. Finland shares a border of over 1,300 km with Russia.
Last September, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and President of Finland Sali Niinisto met to discuss their cooperation. In a statement, the organization reaffirmed Finnish to work with people from NATO countries and other partner countries in multinational peace support operations, guaranteeing interoperable capabilities to “joint training and analysis and exchange of information”. Capability Protection of the Armed Forces”.
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