The State Department has approved a potential $380 million deal with Finland for the sale of Stinger anti-aircraft missiles.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress on Thursday of the new foreign military sale.

Sgt. Zane Pettibone and Spc. Svenson Albert, a Stinger Man-Portable Air Defense System (MANPADS) team with 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, prepare to fire, as part of the multinational live-fire training exercise Shabla 19, June 11, 2019. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Thomas Mort)

Under the deal, Finland would receive 350 of the Raytheon Missile and Defense [RTX]-built Stinger missiles as well as five production verification flight test Stingers.

“The proposed sale will improve Finland’s defense and deterrence capabilities. Finland intends to use these defense articles and services to increase its national stock. This critical platform will bolster the land and air defense capabilities in Europe’s northern flank, supporting the U.S. European Command’s top priorities,” the DSCA wrote in a statement.

The new FMS case follows a separate deal with Finland the State Department approved on Nov. 28 for the sale of AIM-8X Block II air-to-air missiles and AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapons (Defense Daily, Nov. 28). 

The Army released a Request for Information in late March for its effort to find a Stinger missile replacement, detailing plans to begin developing and testing new capabilities next year and aiming to begin production of 10,000 missiles in fiscal year 2027 (Defense Daily, April 11).

Army officials in the RFI detailed the need for a replacement system “to meet increasing demand and growing threat capability,” noting the Stinger-Reprogrammable Microprocessor will become obsolete in FY ‘23 and that the “current Stinger inventory is in decline.”

Boeing [BA] told Defense Daily in October it’s pursuing the Army’s Stinger missile replacement program and will propose a solution it says offers up to three times the lethality capability of the current surface-to-air weapon system (Defense Daily, Oct. 11). 

Lawmakers have recently urged the Pentagon to establish a plan for replenishing the department’s stockpile of Stinger missiles that have been transferred to Ukraine and called for prioritizing getting a modernized SHORAD system in place (Defense Daily, March 18).

As of late November, the U.S. has committed to providing over 1,600 Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to support Ukraine in its fight against Russia’s ongoing invasion.