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    Finland’s F-35 Fleet: Insta’s Strategic Role in Future-Proofing National Defense

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    F35 of US Air Force

    Insta, a technology company, has reached a three-year procurement agreement with the Finnish Defence Forces concerning Finland’s F-35 fighter program.

    This F-35A Lightning II, AF-4, is outfitted with a spin recovery chute during high angle of attack testing accomplished by the F-35 Integrated Test Force team at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The F-35 Integrated Test Force made significant progress expanding the flight envelope of the F-35A conventional takeoff and landing variant over the past few months with numerous successes in High Angle of Attack flight tests. (Photo by Darin Russell/Lockheed Martin)

    This acquisition is founded on the strategic partnership pact between the Finnish Defence Forces and Insta and spans the period from 2024 to 2026.

    The procurement encompasses the establishment of maintenance and service capabilities for the avionics of the Finnish Air Force’s Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II multi-role fighters, specifically focusing on the aircraft’s electronic systems, along with associated support services.

    The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Lightning II, built by Lockheed Martin, takes off for its first flight on Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Texas, Dec. 15, 2006, during a test of the aircraft’s initial capability. The U.S. Defense Department and eight o ther allied countries have contracted Lockheed Martin as part of the JSF program, which was designed to maximize efficiency and minimize the life cycle, costs of a future multi-role fighter jet. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class D. Keith Simmons) (Released)

    The deployment of the F-35 fighters is scheduled to commence from 2026 onward.

    The F-35s are touted as the most advanced and versatile fighter jets, brimming with cutting-edge technology that solidifies their prowess in stealth capabilities and surveillance.

    Ville Kettula, Insta’s VP for the aviation business, emphasized the importance of building upon the existing competence, stating, “Building capability for maintaining the F-35’s avionics systems allows for us to establish a strong continuum of competence regarding critical systems and technology.”

    As Finland joins NATO, defense systems are becoming more interconnected across borders, leading to a surge in data volume and rapid technological advancements.

    The ability to harness this data for strategic leadership and situational awareness will play a crucial role in modern warfare.

    “The rapid advancement of technology and equipment underscores the importance of proactive maintenance and repair, in addition to cybersecurity measures. Apart from servicing the avionics systems of the aircraft, Insta will take on the task of integrating the new fighter’s systems with the Finnish command and control systems in collaboration with the Finnish Defence Forces,” elaborates Kettula.

    Apart from maintenance tasks, Insta is actively involved in ongoing research and product development endeavors aimed at enhancing the operational reliability, flight safety, and overall performance of the fighters.

    Finland is set to obtain a fleet of 64 F-35 fighters. With an anticipated service life of 30 years for the aircraft, there will be a continuous need for maintenance and improvement efforts well into the foreseeable future.

    UK F-35B Lightning II” by Defence Images is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

    The partnership with Insta, as Petri Reiman, Senior Vice President for Insta Advance pointed out, opens up new international opportunities, given that several NATO countries have chosen the F-35.

    Pictured is the first of the UK’s F-35B Lightning II jets to be flown to the UK. Accompanied by two United States Marine Corps F-35B aircraft from their training base at Beaufort, South Carolina. The F-35B Lightning II will place the UK at the forefront of fighter technology, giving the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy a true multi-role all weather, day and night capability, able to operate from well-established land bases, deployed locations or the Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers. The Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will be known in UK service as the Lightning II. Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor but the UK is the only Level 1 partner with the US. A number of British companies, including BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce will have significant industrial work-share in construction and development of the aircraft. The Lightning II will provide UK Defence with a 5th Generation (low observable, supersonic, enhanced data fusion), multi-role, all weather, day and night aircraft that will have the ability to operate from land bases as well as the Queen Elizabeth Class carriers, the first of which is due to accept Lightning II onto her deck in 2018. This basing flexibility will give UK Defence a truly joint expeditionary Combat Air capability well into the 2030’s. The RAF is the lead service for the operation of Lightning II and, like the Harrier before, the Joint Lightning II Force will be manned by both RAF and RN personnel.

    “We have the opportunity to provide maintenance and repair services for avionics systems on F-35 fighters even outside of Finland,” Reiman added.

    Established in 1973, Insta’s Defence division has evolved from a workshop specializing in aircraft gauge repair to becoming a key strategic ally of the Finnish Defence Forces, boasting a workforce of over 400 highly skilled professionals.

    As early as 2023, Insta and Lockheed Martin inked a collaboration pact for the development of a next-generation data relay and filtering solution. This agreement marked the initial project linked to the indirect industrial cooperation of Finland’s F-35 fighter initiative.

    Relevant articles:
    Finnish Defence Forces logistic command acquires F-35 fighter avionics and maintenance services from technology company Insta, SourceSecurity.com
    50 years of Insta Defence: Developing state-of-the-art technology and security of supply, Insta Group
    Insta and Lockheed Martin signed cooperation agreement of developing next generation network security & gateway solution, GlobeNewswire
    Defence & Aviation, Insta Group

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