The Biden administration on Monday announced it has approved a possible sale of missiles and weapons to Finland worth an estimated $323.3 million.
It comes after Finland and Sweden sought to join NATO earlier this year following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that sparked ongoing war in the region.
“The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Finland of AIM 9X Block II tactical missiles, AGM-154 Joint Stand Off Weapons (JSOW) and related equipment,” a release on the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) website reads.
“The proposed sale will improve Finland’s air-to-air and air-to-surface weapons capabilities and will positively impact US relations with countries in the Nordic region,” according to the notice. “Finland intends to use these defense articles and services for its fighter aircraft fleet.”
The proposed sale will also support U.S. foreign policy and national security “by improving the security of a trusted partner, which is an important force for political stability and economic progress in Europe,” the notice reads.
“It is vital to the U.S. national interest to assist Finland in developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defense capability.”
Altogether, the sale comprises 40 tactical missiles, 48 Joint Standoff Weapons, a slew of additional equipment, as well as training and technical support.
The DSCA, which operates as part of the Defense Department, has delivered the required certification notifying Congress of the possible sale. Lawmakers will need to approve the sale, which is likely to be a formality.
The proposed sale will not have any adverse impacts on U.S. defense readiness, according to the notice.
The main contractors will be Raytheon Missiles and Defense, based in Tucson, Arizona. The potential sale has no known proposed offset agreements.
The notice of the potential sale is required by law.
Not Members of NATO
Finland borders Russia to its east, while Sweden is on its western side. The two countries are two of six European Union member states that are not NATO members.
NATO’s leadership formally invited the two nations to join on June 29. Russian President Vladimir Putin previously said that Moscow has “no problem” if the two join NATO. He warned, however, that the Kremlin would respond in kind if troops and infrastructure are deployed in the two Nordic countries.
The United States this year has approved millions of dollars worth of weapons sales to European countries in efforts to boost NATO defense against Russia.
Just prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February, the U.S. State Department approved a potential $6 billion sale of 250 tanks, as well as vehicles and other ammunition, to Poland.
In July, the department approved a potential sale of an estimated $500 million worth of rocket launches, rocket systems, and other equipment to Estonia.
In early November, Norway signed a sale with the United States worth $500 million to have missiles mounted on F-35 fighter jets. The missiles are intended to serve as the main weapon to defend Norway’s airspace over the next several decades.
From The Epoch Times