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US approves €310m missile purchase request by Finland

The weapons, including Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, are to be used by the Finnish Defence Forces' fighter jets.

Video still image of a Finnish Defence Forces fighter jet on tarmac, file photo. Image: Puolustusvoimat

The United States State Department has approved a military weapons purchase request from Finland, according to an announcement from the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency.

It said that Finland requested to purchase (40) AIM 9X Block II tactical missiles, (48) AGM-154 Joint Stand Off Weapons (JSOW) and related equipment. The weapons are intended to be used by the Finnish Defence Forces' fighter jets.

AIM 9X Block II tactical missiles are also known as Sidewinders, short range air-to-air missiles. AGM-154 JSOWs are medium-range precision guided weapons, also known as glide bombs.

Both weapons systems are manufactured by the Arizona-based company Raytheon Missiles and Defense.

The weapons acquisition agreement is valued at a maximum of around 310 million euros, or 323 million US dollars. The statement said its actual value will be lower than the initial estimate due to various factors including final requirements and budget authority.

The approval announcement said the sale will "improve Finland’s air-to-air and air-to-surface weapons capabilities and will positively impact U.S. relations with countries in the Nordic region. Finland intends to use these defence articles and services for its fighter aircraft fleet. Finland will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces."

The statement also said the deal would support national security and foreign policy of the US, "by improving the security of a trusted partner, which is an important force for political stability and economic progress in Europe."

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified the US Congress about the possible sale on Monday.

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