Finland may consider transferring Hornet fighter jets to Ukraine, Prime Minister Sanna Marin said during a visit to Kiev, Yle reports . “I think we could discuss Hornet: can they be sent to Ukraine, and what preparation will be required for this,” she said.
Now the Finnish Air Force has 62 such fighters. The Hornet was developed in the 1970s in the US by McDonnell Douglas, which became part of Boeing in 1997. Marine recalled that Finland ordered 64 F-35 fighters from Washington to replace obsolete aircraft. “We have already decided on a new purchase, and we have existing equipment. We can evaluate its use,” she said, adding that it is necessary to take into account the country’s geopolitical position and take care of its own defense.
In turn, the President of the Republic, Sauli Niinistö , said that Marin had not discussed her idea to transfer decommissioned Hornet fighters to Kiev before voicing it at a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Finnish Defense Minister Antti Kaikkonen confirmed that this was the prime minister’s personal initiative and added that he would have warned Marin against this. According to him, Tim Kivinen, commander of the defense forces, did not know about this in advance either.
Kaikkonen recalled that modern American F-35s will only arrive in Finland in 2026, so the country will need the Hornet for its own defense in the next few years. On the other hand, by the end of their service life, given the degree of wear and tear, the use of these fighters will be “rather low” – under these conditions, transferring them to Ukraine “is a rather difficult task,” the minister added.
Kaikkonen stressed that he strongly supports the continued supply of heavy weapons to Ukraine, but now Finland “should think about other options, not Hornet.”