Feb. 17 (UPI) -- The sale of multiple launch rocket systems to Finland was approved by the State Department, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced on Wednesday.
The potential $91.2 million deal, with Lockheed Martin Missile and Fire Control as its sole contractor, still requires approval by the U.S. Senate, DSCA said in a press release.
The sale would include M30A2 and M31A2 Extended Range Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems, quality assurance testing services, and technical and logistical support.
The munitions, known collectively as elements of Lockheed Martin's Guided MLRS series, offer rapidly-deployable, long-range, surface-to-surface, precision-strike capability, with maneuverable 200-pound warheads fired from mobile rocket launchers, the company says.
With over 40,000 rockets produced so far, it is one of the world's most common ordnance devices, according to Lockheed.
The Finnish military has reinforced its rocket artillery in recent years, which is best used to attack light armored vehicles, command posts and are defense system locations.
Although a NATO partner and not a member, Finland's 2021 military expenditures will reach 2.2 percent of its gross domestic product, in line with NATO members.
In October 2020, the U.S. State Department approved a $12.5 billion purchase by Finland for 64 F-35 fighter planes and associated munitions and equipment.
"We will, in the coming years, procure a new Navy squadron with four corvettes [small frigates]," Finnish Defense Minister Antti Kaikkonen wrote in a January statement published by Defense News.
"During the next decade we will also replace the current fleet of F-18 Hornet fighters," he noted, adding that the two projects will total $12 billion.
The Arctic area, which includes Finland, has seen recent military buildups.
A U.S. strategic plan revealed in January calls for a more assertive posture in the Arctic region, due to threats from China and Russia.
In March 2020, Russia announced a 15-year plan for private investment in Arctic energy projects, a population shift into the area, road developments and upgrades to Russian surveillance systems and construction of new military infrastructure.