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Finland mulls procuring Israeli anti-aircraft systems amid Russian invasion of Ukraine

IAI's MRSAM missile during the test June 2016. (Israel Aerospace Industries)
IAI's MRSAM missile during the test June 2016. (Israel Aerospace Industries)

Finland decides to purchase anti-aircraft systems from one of two Israeli companies, either Israel Aerospace Industries or Rafael, Finland’s defense ministry says according to Reuters.

In October 2020, Finland sent invitations for bids to five companies, including Germany’s Diehl Defence, Norway’s Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, the UK’s MBDA, as well as the two Israeli companies, the report says.

The ministry says it now intends to continue negotiations with IAI and Rafael.

“In this scheme, we will upgrade the anti-aircraft defense’s high-altitude ability and increase significantly its reach,” the ministry says in a statement.

Finland is not part of the NATO military alliance, but as the country shares a long border with Russia, it has recently stepped up defenses in response to Moscow’s invasion, the report says.

The ministry says it plans to purchase vehicles with integrated missile launchers, radar systems, missiles, and related equipment. The final purchase decision is expected in early 2023, the report says.

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