Finland’s first F-35s will be based up north,

The announcement to base the first F-35 multirole aircraft up north was made by the Finnish Air Force on Friday.

“The Air Force’s F-35 fleet will be commissioned first to the Lapland Air Force in Rovaniemi in 2026,” Air Force Commander Brigadier General Juha-Pekka Keränen said.  The airbase is located on the Arctic Circle, seven kilometers north of Rovaniemi City Centre, and is Finland’s northernmost base with fighter jets.

It was last December Finland announced it had chosen to buy 64 of the F-35 to replace the current fleet of F/A-18 Hornets. The first F-35s will arrive at Rovaniemi in 2026 and all 64, including those to be based further south in Finland, will be in operation by 2030. […]

On Thursday this week, two F-35s were scrambled from Evenes to meet two Russian military aircraft over the Barents Sea north of Finnmark region. The planes, a MiG-31 and a Su-24, did not violate Norwegian airspace.

If NATO will deploy some of the Rovaniemi-based F-35s on QRA, the flying time north to meet Russian military planes flying west of the Kola Peninsula will be shorter than flying from the Evenes airbase in Norway. However, as part of Norway’s reassurance policy towards Russia, other NATO allies have so far not been allowed to use the airspace over the eastern part of Finnmark when flying missions to monitor Russian activities. Läs artikel