The Finnish air force will participate for the first time at the International Sanicole Airshow during the 40th anniversary airshow. For the occasion, they will send over their frontline fighter, the F-18C Hornet.
The F-18C entered service with the Finnish air force in 1996. They replaced the Mig-21 and Saab 35 Draken.
The Finnish air force always had a mixed fleet of western and Soviet-built aircraft, but the end of the Cold War brought this policy to an end. The order for 57 F-18C and D-models was controversial because this was the first deviation from this policy.
In Finnish service, the F-18 is only used for air defence, not for ground attack missions. This is the reason that the aircraft is designated as F-18 instead of F/A-18 (Fighter/Attack) like it is in the United States. Finnish F-18s are spread across two bases: Kuopio in central-Finland and Rovaniemi in the north of the country.
This marks the first time that the Finnish F-18 display will thunder through the Belgian skies.