Ukraine has reportedly submitted a request to Finland for F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets.
The Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat reported this with reference to its own sources.
Transfer of these aircraft to Ukraine requires U.S. approval since they are manufactured by American company Boeing.
Sanna Marin, Prime Minister of Finland said during her visit to Kyiv in March that her country and other allies might consider providing Ukraine with F/A-18 fighter jets.
“We have new F35 fighters coming… When these old Hornets are decommissioned, we can discuss their future use,” Marin told reporters around ten days ago. “I think we could discuss the Hornet fighter jets – whether it would be possible to offer them to Ukraine and what preparation is needed for this.”
Since the start of the war in Ukraine, Western governments have been humming and hawing over President Volodymyr Zelensky’s appeals for aircraft, mostly because they fear that deliveries of ultra-sophisticated warplanes would stoke tensions with nuclear-armed Russia and escalate the conflict.
The Finnish Air Force’s 62-strong F/A-18 Hornet fighter fleet will be replaced with 64 stealthy F-35 combat jets it has ordered from Lockheed Martin. Hornet combat jets are at the end of their service life in Finland.
The first F-35 fighters will enter service with the country’s Air Force in 2025, given the personnel training in the United States. In general, it is planned to replace the Hornet fleet with the F-35 from 2028 to 2030.