13:40 GMT +319 September 2019
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    Finnish air force F-18 Hornet aircraft

    Finnish Air Force to Conduct Aerial Bombing for First Time Since WWII

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    Finland's Air Force has announced it is going to conduct aerial bombing at its artillery practice range in Rovajärvi for the first time since the Second World War; next week's bombing test is part of a scheduled lifecycle update for the country's Hornet fighter jets.

    The F-18 Hornets are to be loaded with US-made Jdam bombs (Joint Direct Attack Munition) during next week's test bombing at the Rovajarvi, the main artillery practice range of the Finnish Army.

    The bombing is Finland's first since WWII and is part of a second lifestyle update to its Hornet fighter jets.

    The Finnish Air Force operates a mixed fleet of 55 McDonnell Douglas (Boeing) F/A-18C Hornet single-seat multirole fighter jets (two out of the original 57 having been lost in accidents) and seven F/A-18D two-seat fighters.

    The US-built planes are at about the halfway point of their effective lifespans. The last Hornets are scheduled for retirement by 2030, with the first leaving in 2025.

    The upgrade is set to extend their usefulness, so that new fighters would not be needed before 2025.

    The planes, which are primarily designed and intended for the purpose of giving the Finns the capability to repel an attack, are being modified to function as assault planes, capable of hitting land-based targets from a long distance.

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    Tags:
    military exercises, bombing, McDonnell Douglas (Boeing) F/A-18D Hornet, McDonnell Douglas (Boeing) F/A-18C Hornet, Rovajärvi, Finland
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