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Finnish army equipment nears expiry date

Most of Finland's army equipment is due for replacement in the near future. The armed forces, though, face increasing savings pressures.

Ruostunutta armeijan kalustoa.
Osa armeijan kalustosta vanhenee vuoteen 2015 mennessä. Image: YLE

Among the equipment that will be out-of-date by 2015 are hundreds of Pasi armoured vehicles, tens of thousands of assault rifles and thousands of communications systems.

At the same time, as part of Finland's belt-tightening measures, the new government program calls for hundreds of millions of euros savings from the army.

Echoing the despair felt at the top rungs of the army ,Brigadier General Veli-Pekka Parkatti from Army Command Finland warns that the country will lose its capacity to defend its territory by the end of the decade if the aging equipment is not replaced.

Academic defence experts meanwhile do not see the situation as quite so urgent.

Emeritus researcher Unto Vesa from the Peace Research Institute at the University of Tampere feels that new acquisitions can be delayed by a few years. In Vesa's opinion, Finland would be able to respond appropriately quickly, if the security situation were to change dramatically.

With more reductions in the number of garrisons on the cards, as well as decreasing personnel numbers, aging equipment is not the only challenge that the Finnish army now faces.

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