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British F-35's to visit Finland next week

The Karelia Air Command will host the fighters, which are part of a British-led Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF).

Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II -hävittäjiä Leeuwardenissa Hollannissa.
Two British F-35 fighter jets with 60 personnel in tow will be hosted by the Karelia Air Command next week. Image: Vincent Jannink / EPA
Yle News

Two F-35 fighter jets from the British Royal Air Force will visit Karelia Air Command next week, the Finnish Air Force said on Wednesday.

The inbound squadron will consist of two F-35B Lightning II fighters and about 60 personnel. The unit will visit the Rissala base from Tuesday to Thursday next week.

The F-35 fighters will participate in training activities of the Finnish Air Force with the F-18 Hornets of the Karelia Air Command. The flight operations will take place in training areas near the Rissala base.

The mission is part of a British-led Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF), in which Finland has participated since 2017.

The F-35 visit is also part of a complementary training and exercise mission with partner countries, which aims to strengthen Finland's defence capabilities and demonstrate partner countries' support for the Nordic country.

Finland's first F-35 fighters operating under the Finnish Air Force will be stationed in Rovaniemi in 2026.

Multiple joint exercises have been conducted with Nato alliance members as Finland has expressed its interest to apply for the alliance. This spring, Finnish troops have gone to exercises in Estonia, four Nato ships docked in Helsinki, the Finnish navy conducted a drill with Nato members in the Archipelago Sea and Finnish President Sauli Niinistö travelled to London as part of a meeting with JEF leaders. These exercises, in addition to the rhetoric of Nato leaders, have been a show of support for Finland as it applies for Nato membership.

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