The Finnish Air Force is keen on Anglo-American stealth strike fighter F-35 as a potential replacement of the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18, the FAF's current mainstay, Finnish national daily Helsingin Sanomat and the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE) reported on Wednesday.
HS and YLE quoted the FAF as saying that a political decision on replaceing the F/A-18s would ideally be made in 2015, that is, about half way through the fleet's service life.
Major-General Jarmo Lindberg, the commander of the FAF, said the cheapest version of the F-35 costs about 70 million euros (56 million euros), or about double the unit cost of an F/A-18.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: the 70 million figure above is an error, and should probably read refer to US dollars, not euros)
The FAF is to begin decommissioning its 63 F/A-18s in 2025, with the last aircraft due to retire five years later.