Finland has committed to the acquisition of two SNC RAPCON-X-configured Bombardier Challenger 650 aircraft (Finnish Border Guard)

BELFAST — Finland has picked Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC) Bombardier Challenger 650 outfitted with the company’s RAPCON-X (Rapidly Configurable to any mission) capability, for its MVX border surveillance jet program, awarding the US manufacturer a two aircraft contract valued at $170 million.

The Finnish Border Guard said in a Thursday translated statement that the contract with SNC was signed in Helsinki and that deliveries will take place in 2026 and 2027. The pair of new aircraft are set to replace Dornier 228 types, with production out of SNC’s integration center in Hagerstown, Maryland.

“In the evaluation of the tender for the MVX project, Sierra Nevada Corporation’s solution met the performance requirements set by the Border Guard,” added the organization. “The selection was based on the supplier’s experience and demonstrated ability to implement complex aircraft modifications, as well as the ability to deliver the machines within the deadline.”

It also noted that improved “operating time and greater transport capacity” will be achieved by acquiring the new planes.

“The Border Guard is about to use a capability whose performance and wide range of sensors is top class, even in international comparison,” Lt. Col. Kenneth Rosenqvist, head of the MVX program at the Finnish Border Guard, is quoted as saying. “It is a world-class multipurpose aircraft that is capable of operating in the Border Guard’s demanding mission field.”

As previously reported by Breaking Defense, the MVX fleet will be tasked with surveillance of Finland’s land and sea borders, search and rescue missions, Baltic Sea patrols and marine environmental damage detection.

The acquisition holds added significance in light of Finland’s NATO membership, increasing surveillance coverage at a time when the alliance attempts to deter further Russian aggression, beyond Ukraine’s borders.

Integration of RAPCON-X to the Bombardier Challenger 650 aircraft specifically provides a long range precision Aerial Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (AISR) capability, described by SNC as a “system-of-systems readily deployable within hours of notice.”

The manufacturer said in a Thursday statement, “RAPCON-X offers high reliability, increased range, endurance, and an operational envelope that enhances survivability — adding significant improvements in operating time and area coverage.”

Additionally it shared that, “in its MVX configuration, RAPCON-X can conduct all legacy missions, while providing superior capability, interoperability, and upgradability for the next 30 years.”

The Finnish deal comes seven months after the US Army awarded SNC a $554 million multiyear contract for delivery of RAPCON-X Bombardier Global 6500 jets under the service’s Theater Level High-Altitude Expeditionary Next Aerial–Signals Intelligence (ATHENA-S) project.

The effort is a precursor to the Army’s High Accuracy Detection and Exploitation System (HADES) program of record, scheduled to enter service “later this decade,” according to SNC.