The Finnish Defence Forces unveiled plans to procure uncrewed aerial systems (UAS) in a bid to enhance its reconnoitre capabilities.

As part of the plan, the Logistics Command of the Finnish Defence Forces opened a call for requests, seeking participation from interested system suppliers regarding the UAS procurement.

The deadline for submitting responses is 9 May 2022.

The military will assess the applications and begin the negotiated procedure with the successful applicants.

The negotiated procedure will focus on readily procurable reference products which meet Finland’s specifications, and are aligned with suppliers’ compatibility requirements.

The Finnish Defence Forces aims to acquire 1,000 to 2,000 UAS that are capable of operating in all weather conditions.

These remote aircraft systems will primarily be used by different units for intelligence, surveillance, and target acquisition missions.

Approximately €14m ($15.14m) will be invested in the UAS procurement.

Lieutenant Colonel Riku Rantakari from the Army Command said: “The procurement project has advanced as planned, from conducting UAS research, to testing commercial systems, to detailed analysis and requirement specifications.

“Now, for this entirely new capability, we are seeking a system supplier meeting the set requirements. We are looking for a system that operates in all weather conditions, in different seasons, in varying environments. Also, the system needs to be easy to train for all our persons liable for military service.”

The negotiations with the successful candidates are expected to be completed by early next year.

The Finnish military aims to finalise the system supplier and the system by the summer of 2023.

Training with the new system is expected to begin in the second half of 2023.

Earlier this month, the Finnish Defence Forces signed a contract with Saab for combat training simulators.