Finland Cleared To Buy Extended-range Multiple Launch Rocket Systems

The State Department has approved a Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Finland of Extended Range Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems and related equipment for an estimated cost of $91.2 million. 

The sale would include M30A2 and M31A2 Extended Range Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems, quality assurance testing services, and technical and logistical support.

The munitions, known collectively as elements of Lockheed Martin’s Guided MLRS series, offer rapidly-deployable, long-range, surface-to-surface, precision-strike capability, with maneuverable 200-pound warheads fired from mobile rocket launchers, the company says.

The Government of Finland has requested to buy twenty-five M30A2 Extended Range Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems – Alternative Warhead (ER GMLRS-AW) Pods; and ten M31A2 Extended Range Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems – Unitary (ER GMLRS-U) Pods.  Also included is an ER GMLRS Materiel Release Package; Stockpile Reliability Program (SRP) support; Quality Assurance Testing (QAT) services; technical publications; U.S. Government and contractor technical and logistics support services; and other related element of program and logistics support. 

This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by improving the security of a trusted partner which is an important force for political stability and economic progress in Europe.  It is vital to the U.S. national interest to assist Finland in developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defense capability, said DSCA in a statement.

Finland intends to use these defense articles and services to modernize its armed forces.  Finland intends to expand its existing army architecture to counter potential threats.  This will contribute to the Finland military’s goal to upgrade its capability while enhancing interoperability between Finland, the United States, and other partners. 

In October 2020, the U.S. State Department approved a $12.5 billion purchase by Finland for 64 F-35 fighter planes and associated munitions and equipment.

“We will, in the coming years, procure a new Navy squadron with four corvettes [small frigates],” Finnish Defense Minister Antti Kaikkonen wrote in a January statement published by Defense News.

“During the next decade we will also replace the current fleet of F-18 Hornet fighters,” he noted, adding that the two projects will total $12 billion.

The Arctic area, which includes Finland, has seen recent military buildups.

A U.S. strategic plan revealed in January calls for a more assertive posture in the Arctic region, due to threats from China and Russia.

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