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Finnish defense minister approves rocket procurement

Finland is purchasing Lockheed Martin rockets through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program.

By Richard Tomkins
Finnish defense minister approves rocket procurement
Lockheed Martin's Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System is test fired. Photo by the U.K. Ministry of Defense

HENSINKI, Finland, Feb. 8 (UPI) -- A proposal to acquire new munitions for Finland's rocket launcher system from the United States has been approved by Minister of Defense Jussi Niinisto.

The munitions are the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System Alternative Warhead, or GMLRS AW, and GMLRS UNITARY.

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The GMLRS AW spreads fragments above the target area while the GMLRS UNITARY is based on explosive and pressure impact for precision targeting. The range of both is about 43.5 miles.

The Finnish Ministry of Defense said the munitions will be purchased through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program for about $78 million. Deliveries will begin this year and end in 2018.

"By procuring new guided munitions, the Defense Forces will achieve new long-range capability, a more effective use of the heavy rocket launcher system which was procured in 2006, and the range of munitions will be more diversified," the ministry said.

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