The domain of man-portable air defense missile systems (MANPADS) has 4 major competitors around the world. Saab’s RBS-70 is used by 18 countries, and Finland continues to raise its order. Sweden’s Nordic next-door neighbor uses the RBS-70 in 2 modes: as a dispersed, soldier-carried system, and as a vehicle-mounted VSHORAD(Very Short Range Air Defense) system.
A 2009 purchase will complement these dispersed, short-range RBS-70 systems with a wider air defense net based on Sentinel radars, and ground-launched AMRAAM missiles. This combination is intended to make Finland’s airspace dangerous enough to deny enemies full air dominance, while its difficult terrain and mobile land forces bleed any future invasion until it quits. If that strategy sounds improbable, recall that Finland forced Stalin’s Russia to settle for a qualified draw in the 1939 Winter War, when Hitler’s ally attacked Finland per the terms of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.