We have a strong opinion that we want to buy the best available defense material, wherever we want, because since 1992, when Finland decided to buy F-18 fighter planes, we have been practically married with United States defense technology, and we buy a lot of stuff, from Israel also. So for a country like Finland, which is militarily nonaligned and has territorial defense, [it] has to take care of defense on her own if needed. Of course we hope partners [will come to our aid], but alone if needed. It’s very important that PESCO is not excluding [non-EU industries].
Tämä oli mielenkiintoisempi.
Finland is in the early process of buying a new fighter. How do you balance between quantity and quality when looking at the new fighter?
We have money for €7-10 billion (U.S. $8-12 billion), and we are going to buy 64 fighter planes. We have been always counting on quality: quality on planes and quality on training our pilots. Our pilots are the best in the world, let me say that, because they are trained so well. We have our own special program. We train them in Finland, and they get along very well in international [exercises]. I am thrilled to see what happens in the Red Flag exercise, what is the level of expertise of Finnish pilots now, because it has been very good during the recent years.