Mar 30, 2014

Finland aborts missile acquisition from United States

Finland has announced that it will not carry out the planned acquisition of tactical missiles from the United States and manufactured by Lockheed Martin, the army tactical missile system (ATacMS) missiles are surface-to-surface missiles fired from launchers.
The missiles have a range of up to 300 kilometres. The project has been put on hold due to budgetary reasons, due to high unit price.
The Ministry of Defence wrangled over the acquisition with the United States for 18 months, having been granted a congressional permit to purchase a maximum of 70 tactical missiles in mid-2012. The project received considerable media attention, after the initial application for a permit was withdrawn from the US Congress due to a misprint.
The Finnish Defence Forces views that the tactical missiles would become an integral part of Finland's defence capability, which has been developed systematically on the basis of a capability study conducted in 2004. The study indicates that the most crucial weapons systems for the country's defence are heavy missile launchers, air-to-surface missiles and special ammunition.
A green light has already been granted for the acquisition of air-to-surface missiles for the Finnish Hornet fleet and special ammunition.
The Ministry of Defence revealed recently that Finland decided two years ago to acquire joint air-to-surface stand-off missiles (JASSM) for its Hornet fleet.
In addition, the country has prepared for the acquisition of the ATacMS by acquiring in 2006 heavy multiple rocket launchers from the Netherlands.
The system of roughly 100 vehicles and 22 launch pads has consequently thus far been only used to fire practice rockets and mines.

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