Finland is proceeding buying advanced weaponry from Israel, despite the Israeli bombardments of Gaza that left hundreds to thousands Palestinian civilians dead. A call to end a weapons deal, has been put aside by the Finnish Defence Minister Antti Häkkänen.
Featured photo: a test-firing of the David’s Sling SAM system in 2020 (Photo: IDF)
It was the Vasemmistoliiton (Vänsterförbundet) party that demanded Finland would stop its business with Israel, as “Finland doees not do right to close an arms deal with a country that is illegally occupying and executes aerial bombings of civilians”. Finland has ordered the Israeli-made David’s Sling surface-to-air missile (SAM) system .
According to Defence Minister Häkkänen the war in Ukraine shows a proper air defence is of significant importance. “To stop the purchase of a weapons system because of something that happened, is out of the question,” he said to Finnish public broadcasting company Yle on Friday 27 October 2023.
To intercept drones and cruise missiles
The Finnish version of the David’s Sling system is a joint development by Rafael of Israel and US-based Raytheon, with the companies involving Finnish companies in the deal. Finland is paying USD 346 million for the SAM system, making it the first export customer.
David’s Sling is said to be able to intercept aircraft, ballistic missiles, drones and low-flying cruise missiles 40 to 300 kilometres (30-180 mi) away – and up to high altitudes. It is not known yet when Finland can expect the first system. | © 2023 Marcel Burger, nordicreporter.com