Finland is getting significant missiles that can hit “as far as Moscow” – that’s what they are

According to the analyst, the 1,000 kilometer range of missiles coming to the new F35 fighter jets is “a big deal” and will significantly increase Finland’s defense capability.

  • Researcher Charlie Salonius-Pasternak said the new long-range JASSM-ER missiles give Finland the opportunity to influence the defensive situation under a possible Russian attack as far as Moscow.
  • New missiles with a range of 1,000 kilometers will be installed on future F-35 fighter jets. Missiles are used by only a few countries in the world.
  • Based on public information, Finland has announced that it will purchase 200 missiles. Based on this information, the researcher calculates that the price of a missile could be at least 2 million euros per piece.

– The main idea is that this position will cause uncertainty and a potential aggressor, presumably Russia, will take very, very deep actions called deterrence (hold and resist). And it contributes significantly to the operation and planning of Finland, the leading researcher Charlie Salonius-Pasternak The Foreign Policy Institute tells Iltaleht about Finland’s decision to acquire new long-range air-to-ground missiles.

He says the new JASSM-ER cruise missiles, which have a range of about a thousand kilometres, are an essential purchase for the defense forces, as military history is already full of various types of arms race.

– In Finland’s history too, there are situations where those with longer distances, for example artillery, have had more success. Own losses will be less. This can threaten another person’s activities, or at least cause them headaches and uncertainty, leaving a base or a leader unprotected, or they can be attacked, says Salonius-Pasternak.

– JASSM-ER has been updated in some ways, but the main thing is this range, which the prefix (extended range) says, he continues to classify the weapon as impressive.

Ministry of Defense at the end of May, the Minister of Defense said Andy Hokkanen (kok) authorized the Defense Forces Logistics Department to acquire more JASSM missiles for Finland. The new missiles are to be used on the Air Force’s new F-35 multirole fighter jets. Lockheed Martin is a manufacturer of missiles and fighter jets, and they are to be delivered to Finland at the same speed as the fighter jets on time.

Finland has already had short-range AGM-158 JASSM cruise missiles in use since the late 2010s, which have a range of about 400 kilometers. Finland received these missiles as part of the Hornet multirole fighter life cycle upgrade, and they can be mounted under the wings of the Hornets.

All the way to Moscow

According to Charlie Salonius-Pasternak, a leading researcher at the Foreign Policy Institute, Russia has succeeded in creating the impression that striking there while defending against an attack is somehow wrong, or that even if it is completely normal, it will escalate the problem. War. Inca Soweri

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– Weapon effect range is still of central importance on the battlefield. The acquisition, which will now be carried out, will significantly improve the effectiveness of the defense forces in these matters, Hekkanen said in a press release of the ministry about the long range of the missiles.

The range of missiles was emphasized by F-35 program manager Col. evp. Henrik Elo Defense Forces Bulletin About Air Force Personnel

Salonius-Pasternak is clear that if necessary, if Finland needs to defend itself against a possible attack, the new missiles can be deployed in Russia as far as Moscow, where their range is sufficient. This is possible if Moscow has targets of military importance, such as sites related to the conduct of war.

– Here, looking at the map, it’s a thousand kilometers away… assuming a launch from Finland. Nothing said the missiles in question had to be launched from Finland. Someone could launch them from Sweden, where the machines are still protected. Or they could very well be launched from Russia as well. International law of war does not prevent an aggressor from entering its territory under certain circumstances, he says.

– Of course, it is better to think about the military-political benefit of some strikes, since these are few in number. But of course, Salonius-Pasternak pursues the question of a strike all the way to Moscow.

He emphasizes that targets may have militarily useful targets, however, it is not necessary or useful to attack them in all conflict situations. For example, these could be Russian nuclear weapons sites.

Chief of Army Economics of the Defense Forces, Lt. Gen Mikko Heiskanen On the other hand, a direct explanation of reaching all the way to Moscow has already been publicly tapped. Heiskanen said In an interview with STD The basis for the purchase of new missiles, after all, is not to fall into the “air defense bubble” of the enemy. This is possible because the missile can be launched from western Finland or from outside Finland’s borders.

Russia created an image

Three years ago, Finland ordered 64 F-35 multirole fighter jets from US Lockheed Martin. The first aircraft are scheduled to be used by the Air Force in 2026. Angel Delcueto / Lockheed Martin

The extended JASSM missiles are called Threshold Weapon System, underscoring their importance. The missiles are equipped with stealth features, for example, can be used to attack command centers, missile batteries, airfield engine shelters, radar systems or ammunition depots. They aim their target accurately to meters.

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Salonius-Pasternak insists that the new missiles will indeed improve Finland’s defense capability, but it’s worth considering why the threshold to attack Finland is being raised in his opinion.

– Now I’m talking about uncertainty in the thinking of a potential attacker. How deep can you hit with these? If we attack there, will we risk anything strategically important? In such a scenario, long-range strike capability is crucial.

According to Salonius-Pasternak, the Soviet Union and later Russia were able to successfully create the impression that attacking Russia would somehow go wrong or that it would escalate the problem.

– Yes, Finland also had this idea for a long time when these original JASSM missiles were acquired. Although it is known how they will be used, neither the officials nor the military want to talk publicly about the part of the application related to striking deep inside Russia. He says it was known that it would probably be done, but somehow it didn’t match what could be spoken.

Salonius-Pasternak insists that this is a perfectly natural course of action in war.

– Of course, the defender is allowed to attack the attacker’s area. It’s mostly about centuries of technology and distance combat, from bowguns to slingshots, cannons and more. But the concept is completely natural, and of course it can be done.

2 million missiles?

A JASSM-ER missile can cost more than two million euros. Defense forces

Finland has not announced the number or cost of the new missiles. Salonius-Pasternak says a lot of guidance on this matter can be gleaned from public announcements made to the US Congress. Acquiring the missiles required congressional approval, which was received in 2020, at the same time the fighter jet contract known as the HX program was approved.

– 200 JASSM-ER missiles should have been announced in Congressional notifications regarding the HX program. Of course, 200 of them were immediately acquired or it does not mean that this (announcement) cannot be updated. But there is some kind of number. As far as I can remember, Salonius-Pasternac says there may be 70 pieces in the notice associated with the first editions.

He says it depends on what kind of package the missiles are purchased. Apart from weapons, there may be other matters related to training, maintenance, training equipment and procurement. According to the Defense Forces Logistics Department, apart from missiles, the procurement includes manuals and documents, spare parts, materials, transport services and training, repair and support services.

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– If Japan were to take the purchase proportionally, they would buy 50 missiles, a little over a hundred million dollars. So, if we add all these factors, two million would be the correct price per missile. At least not less than that, but it gives a true picture of how much they cost.

The rarity of JASSM missiles in use by the armed forces of various countries is indicated by the fact that when purchasing the first missiles, in addition to Finland, the United States also gave permission to purchase them only to Australia. A little later, the permit was issued to Poland. Since then, Japan and South Korea have also received permission. This year, Germany and the Netherlands are also announced to purchase JASSM-ER missiles.

Old for Ukraine

Shortly before the missile sale was announced in May, Salonius-Pasternak suggested on News Service X that Finland give Ukraine its old JASSM missiles. This is related to the decision of Western countries to supply Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets.

– Although the F-16 fighter jets to be delivered to Ukraine are relatively old, at least based on various information available online, it appears that they will be able to carry and use the JASSM missile. It was based on the idea that as a member of NATO, Finland could receive new ones from the United States. Once the bilateral TCA defense agreement is sealed, I don’t see it as unlikely that some weapons systems of this type could be reserved here from the US, now that Salonius-Partenac is due.

He is clear that Finland cannot give away all of its old missiles, but some of them anyway. In this case, you need to confirm that new ones are already coming.

– How can Ukraine make such a large amount? How long the war continues depends on what their operational logic strategy is and where to attack. Of course, they are expensive systems. A lot will depend on whether the U.S. allows it, says Salonius-Pasternak.

He believes Finland will think carefully about a possible date for handing over the missiles.

– Nothing will be shipped until replacement missiles are already in our own warehouses.

In the summer of 2022, a Lockheed Martin fighter pilot said what makes the F-35 fighter a good counter to the Russian Air Force. Elle Laitla

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