Enhancing Finland’s defence capability

Photo: NATO

  • Military cooperation and crisis management strengthen Finland’s national defence capability
  • Increased information exchange and a shared situational awareness within the Baltic Sea region serve Finland’s and NATO’s mutual interests
  • Cooperation in military exercises and training will play a greater role in sustaining Finland’s interoperability
  • Participation in NATO’s Response Force enhances national readiness and the competence
  • Defence materiel cooperation supports the building of national capabilities and interoperability with NATO

Finland collaborates with NATO in order to improve its defence capability as well as the operational capabilities and interoperability of the Finnish Defence Forces. The focus in military cooperation includes an exchange of information on the security environment, development of a shared situational awareness and participation in NATO’s exercise and training activities.

Finland promotes information exchange on the security environment and military preparedness to sustain a shared situational awareness. This contributes to stability and improves the predictability of military action in the Baltic Sea region. Finland also reinforces its national situational awareness on the security environment developments in Europe and areas where crisis management operations take place.

Finland’s EOP cooperation with NATO provides for more efficient collaboration, allowing Finland to remain aware of e.g. NATO’s strategic assessments, research cooperation, capabilities projects and future military exercises. Finnish participation in the planning of military exercises at a sufficiently early stage (3 to 5 years ahead) facilitates the introduction of exercise subjects important for Finland. An increased exchange of information improves the capacity to analyse the security environment, helps to build up a shared situational awareness and underpins national planning and implementation.

The focus of training and exercise cooperation is on demanding exercises aimed at maintaining the force readiness and operational capability. Cooperation with NATO enables Finland to participate in exercises and training which are neither expedient nor possible for it to organise alone due to lacking capabilities or financial resources.

Participation in international exercises and training serves the development of Finland’s national defence and international crisis management. Finland selects the exercises it participates in according to its own military capability and security policy considerations.

The Finnish Defence Forces participate annually in roughly 80–90 international exercises and training events, including some 20 NATO exercises. The purpose of these exercises is to improve the interoperability, capability and tactical skills of the forces and their ability to take part in international crisis management operations.

Participation in NATO Response Force (NRF) is an important element in Finland’s partnership cooperation. Finland has been contributing to the Response Force Pool (RFP) since 2012. Taking part in NRF activities and exercises enhances the capability and readiness of the Finnish Defence Forces.

Defence materiel cooperation aims at increasing compatibility and interoperability. To reach this goal, the systems and processes of the Defence Forces have to be made NATO-compatible. It can be achieved by implementing the partnership goals that underpin the development programme of the Defence Forces and by participating in NATO’s capabilities projects. The purpose of defence materiel cooperation is to create cost-effectiveness and to acquire more and better materiel as well as military technology research data that is of higher quality and more extensive than only national resources would allow.

Finland’s partnership goals will be implemented in the context of NATO’s Planning and Review Process (PARP). Defence materiel cooperation largely takes place in NATO working groups that deal with projects and standardisations. Finland is also represented at the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA).