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Finland Orders Air-to-Surface Missiles From Lockheed Martin

March 1 (Bloomberg) -- Finnish defense forces agreed to buy long-range cruise missiles from Lockheed Martin Corp. as it extends the life of its aircraft fleet.

The order is valued at 178.5 million euros ($238 million) with payments spread over six years, the Ministry of Defense said in a statement.

“These updates aim to extend the lifespan of the fleet as far as possible,” Lieutenant General Mika Peltonen, the operative chief of the Defense Command, said by phone.

The deal consists of AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles, along with the necessary software, technical documentation and training for the country’s F-18 Hornet fleet.

Finland has 62 F/A-18 Hornet planes. The planes were ordered in 1992 and were initially not planned for air-to-ground armament.

The government will face a confidence vote tomorrow in parliament over defense force cutbacks, including a decrease of 2,200 in army personnel by 2015.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kasper Viita in Helsinki at kviita1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christian Wienberg at cwienberg@bloomberg.net

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