Jul 4, 2024

Patria from Finland to Join Global Supply Chain for F-35 Lightning II Fighters

In a significant development bolstering Finland’s aerospace capabilities, Patria, the Finnish defense company, has embarked on the production and assembly of structures and engines for the F-35 Lightning II fighter jets. This initiative marks Finland’s entry into the global supply chain for Lockheed Martin’s advanced aircraft.

Patria is currently establishing state-of-the-art production facilities in Jämsä Halli, where it will commence production and assembly of front fuselages and landing gear doors for the F-35 jets. Operations are scheduled to commence in early 2026.

According to Petri Hepola, Program Director for F-35 at Patria, “The assembly of front fuselages will be a first of its kind outside the United States.” The Finnish-produced structural components will then be shipped to the United States for final assembly at Lockheed Martin’s production line.

Initially, these structural components will equip the 64 F-35s ordered by the Finnish Air Force, replacing the aging Hornets currently in service. Looking ahead, Patria plans to extend its production to include front fuselages and landing gear doors for F-35s destined for other international customers, thereby securing a pivotal role in the global F-35 supply network.

Hepola emphasized that Patria’s production capacity for structural components can be expanded in response to future demand, highlighting the company’s readiness to scale operations based on orders received.

In addition to structural components, Patria will also undertake the assembly, maintenance, and overhaul of Pratt & Whitney F135 engines used in the F-35s. This activity will be based in Linnavuori, Nokia, continuing Finland’s tradition of aerospace engineering excellence dating back to the assembly of General Electric engines for Hornets in the 1990s.

This strategic collaboration aligns with Finland’s industrial participation agreement with the Ministry of Defense, Lockheed Martin, and Pratt & Whitney, underscoring a commitment to enhancing national defense capabilities through advanced technological partnerships.

As Finland prepares to integrate itself further into the global defense supply chain, Patria’s role in the F-35 program signifies a significant milestone in the nation’s aerospace and defense industry.

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