Finnish Border Guard chooses Bombardier Challenger 650 for border surveillance

Finnish Border Guard

The Finnish Border Guard has awarded Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) a $170 million contract to deliver two RAPCON-X jets to enhance its aerial surveillance capabilities. 

The MVX program contract was signed in Helsinki on June 27, 2024. SNC will manufacture the RAPCON-X jets at their integration center in Hagerstown, Maryland, with deliveries scheduled for 2026 and 2027. 

After a tender launched in April 2023, the RAPCON-X based on Bombardier’s Challenger 650 emerged as the preferred solution over Dassault Aviation’s Falcon 2000LXS. 

The Finnish Border Guard aims to bolster border surveillance, focusing on the eastern border with Russia that spans over 1,340 km (830 miles). The new jets will also aid maritime rescue operations and responses to environmental emergencies. 

“The new surveillance aircraft will significantly increase Finland’s capability in border security and maritime security tasks, which is important in our difficult-to-predict security environment,” said Major General Matti Sarasmaa, Finland’s Chief of Border and Coast Guard Division. 

The RAPCON-X features a synthetic aperture radar, electro-optic and infrared camera systems, and other sensors. The two jets will replace the current Finnish Border Guard’s Dornier 228 surveillance aircraft fleet.

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