Finland’s security environment has changed fundamentally. The risks in the Finnish Border Guard’s operating environment have increased. The Finnish Border Guard is preparing to control disturbances in border security on land and at sea, as well as manage maritime accidents and monitor the territorial integrity of Finland.
The current Dornier 228 surveillance aircraft, introduced in 1995, are reaching the end of their life cycle and are becoming increasingly difficult to maintain. The Finnish Border Guard is planning to replace the Dornier planes with two new multipurpose aircraft. The Finnish Border Guard has discovered that only a manned aircraft can cope with varying tasks in demanding Finnish conditions. A versatile and adaptable solution is both operationally practical and cost-effective.
The Finnish Border Guard is responsible for Finland's border security, and border patrol aircraft are vital for the surveillance of Finland's extensive land and sea borders. The aircrafts’ main tasks are to monitor land and sea borders, to search and rescue, to identify vessels in the Baltic Sea, and to detect, manage and combat marine environmental damage. In addition, the aircraft participate in the control of Finland's territorial integrity and support other authorities in monitoring the state of the Baltic Sea.
The Finnish Border Guard's aircraft also participate in obligatory international cooperation. The Finnish Border Guard also fulfils the requirements of the Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area (HELCOM) through aircraft control.
The acquisition of new multipurpose aircraft aims for the following improvements in the performance of existing aircraft:
- a significant improvement in operating time and thus, coverage of wider areas as well as stronger long-term operational capacity in environmental damage prevention tasks,
- more efficient technical sensors,
- increased transport capacity and
- use of the latest technology and more sophisticated technical systems, including real-time, encrypted data transfers.
The new multi-purpose aircraft, which are more efficient, will significantly improve Finland's border security and the monitoring of territorial integrity.
The Government has allocated funding to the Finnish Border Guard for the replacement of surveillance aircraft
In the MVX project’s information request procedure, potential aircraft suppliers were identified in 2020 and a new detailed information request was submitted in April 2022. During the spending limits discussion held on 5 April 2022, the Government decided to allocate EUR 163 million for the purchase of multipurpose aircraft to replace the Dornier 228 surveillance aircraft. The aim is to conclude a procurement contract during 2023, which would mean the new capabilities would be deployed in 2026.
What does MVX mean?
- The flight operations of the Finnish Border Guard's predecessor, the Finnish Coast Guard, started on 14th August 1930 with the VL Sääski II aircraft.
- The aircraft received the civil registry code OH-MVA.
- Almost all the Finnish Border Guard’s aircraft have since been registered in alphabetical order.
- The current Dorniers are OH-MVN and OH-MVO – in aviation language ‘Mike Victor November’ and ‘Mike Victor Oscar’.
- The type and registration numbers of the future aircraft are, of course, a mystery at this stage, so the project has been named the MVX project.