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Interview

Juusti: In Finnish Leopard Modernization Programme, Aselsan is a Strong Candidate

Mr. Jukka Juusti, Head of Resource Policy Department, Finnish Ministry of Defence informed us about Finnish Defence Procurement and  Modernization Plans, Cooperation with Turkey Defence Industries.

Issue 47

Defence Turkey: Could you please inform us about Finnish Defence policy, new procurement programs and modernization plans?

As you know, for the Finish Defence policy we are non-aligned country, we don’t belong to NATO but of course we are a member of the EU, so this does affect our position and our defence policies well defined in our white paper and actually the white paper is delivered in the beginning of this year and it is discussed in the parliament as well. The main issue over there is our defence policy, first task is still the homeland defence so the territorial defence remains our main task also in the future and the second task is to help the government with all other issues to provide the defence policies help for the other authorities, and the third one is the international tasks which means the peace support operations at those areas. Unlike in many European countries, we are still a territorial defence country and we do have the conscript service exactly the same as you have in Turkey and our conscript service is for one year. We have to plan to stick on that one and so there have been some defence cuts like many European nations, it has been roughly 10% but we expect that it will be compensated as from 2015 onwards. This affected also the procurement programs because some parts of the cuts were in the area of procurement, it was almost 50%. One of the big issues is midlife upgrade for our F-18 fighter aircraft which is going on and the other one is the main battle tank modernization which will come in the near future. But we are still in the process that we have to find out what should be done and what can’t be done with the new budget structure. So we are in the way that is not very active at this very moment. I think this includes more or less all the questions you asked at the first part.