Finland seeks to purchase Israeli air defense systems considering Russian threat
The Finnish Defense Ministry is looking to buy missiles, radar systems, transporter erector launchers from either Israel Aerospace Industries or Rafael Advanced Systems, in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
Russia’s increasing threat to the European order post-World War II is creating new opportunities for cooperation in the military and energy fields with several Middle Eastern countries.
One such opportunity for Israel’s military-industrial complex comes from Finland. The Finnish Defense Ministry is seeking to purchase anti-aircraft defense systems from one out of two Israeli companies – either Israel Aerospace Industries or Rafael Advanced Systems.
"In this scheme we will upgrade the anti-aircraft defense’s high-altitude ability and increase significantly its reach," Finland’s Defense Ministry said in a statement on Saturday.
Under the anti-aircraft project Finland plans to purchase equipment such as transporter erector launchers, radar systems, missiles and related integration equipment, the ministry said, adding that their goal is to make a final purchase decision in early 2023.
Finland had previously sent an invitation for bids to five companies including Germany's Diehl Defence, Norway's Kongsberg Defense & Aerospace, the UK's MBDA, as well as the two Israeli companies with which it now continues to negotiate, the ministry said.
Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö met with U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House on Friday, as the support in his country to forge a closer alliance with NATO grows. Both Finland and Sweden already cooperate with NATO but not as members. In light of Russia’s aggression, the two Nordic countries are scaling up their defense cooperation and are holding internal discussions over the possibility of joining the NATO treaty.
Tal Heinrich is a senior correspondent for both ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS. She is currently based in New York City. Tal also provides reports and analysis for Israeli Hebrew media Channel 14 News.