Patria begins production and assembly of structures and engines for F-35 fighter aircrafts. In addition to the fighters coming to Finland, components will be manufactured for aircrafts ordered by other countries.

Photo: Lockheed Martin Corporation

Photo: Lockheed Martin Corporation

Patria is building new production facilities in Jämsä Halli, where the production and assembly of structures for Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighters will begin. Production will start in early 2026.
Patria will manufacture a total of 400 forward fuselages and landing gear door sets for F-35 fighters from 2026 to 2040.
“For forward fuselages, assembly will be the first of its kind outside the United States,” says Petri Hepola, Patria’s F-35 Chief Program Officer.

From Finland, the structural components will be shipped to the US to the final assembly line of Lockheed Martin. 

Components from Patria for global deliveries

The first structural components manufactured by Patria will be used in the F-35 fighters ordered by Finland, of which the Finnish Air Force has decided to purchase 64 to replace the Hornet fighters.
In the future, Patria will also manufacture forward fuselages and landing gear doors for F-35 fighters purchased by other countries. The production projects give Patria access to the global supply chain for the F-35.

The production projects give Patria access to the global supply chain for the F-35.

According to Hepola, the production capacity for structural components can be increased and scaled up based on orders.
Along with component manufacturing, Patria will also begin to assemble, maintain and overhaulthe Pratt&Whitney F135 engines used in F-35s. This will take place in Linnavuori, Nokia, where the General Electric engines for Hornet fighters were also assembled in the 1990s.

Industrial participation ensures security of supply 

The manufacture of structural components for F-35s and the assembly and maintenance of engines in  Finland are part of an industrial participation agreement between the Ministry of Defence, Lockheed Martin and Pratt&Whitney.

Photo: Lockheed Martin Corporation

According to the agreements, the companies must meet the obligation of industrial cooperation within the prescribed time from the signing of the agreement. According to Petri Hepola, the contribution of domestic industry in building the capabilities of the F-35 project is crucial for security of supply. In this way, Finland will build a strong F-35 maintenance and overhaul capability.
“Industrial participation and the services provided by Patria will ensure the skills, competencies and technologies critical to the security of supply of the F-35 system in Finland in both normal and exceptional situations,” Hepola says.

He points out that the services provided by Patria and the infrastructure and competence built on them together with the Defence Forces will create an internationally significant F-35 centre of excellence in Finland, which will give Finland a strong position in the F-35 user community.

The F-35 project creates hundreds of jobs 

The F-35 project will provide high-tech manufacturing jobs in Finland for decades to come. The total employment impact of the project within the industrial cooperation framework is expected to be approximately 4 000 personyears for Patria.

Hepola points out that the industrial cooperation will provide Patria with comprehensive expertise in design solutions, components and materials for the F-35 fighter aircraft. It is valuable knowledge capital that will also carry far into the future in fleet maintenance and other related technologies.
“The long-term agreement to manufacture structural components and assemble engines is an important addition to Patria’s future capabilities.”