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Home NATIONALAir Force increases use of simulators to cut cost
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Mon, 17 Feb, 2014 03:13:23 AM
FTimes-STT Report, February 17
 
Air Force base. Photo Lehtikuva.
The Air Force has reduced the use of Hornet fighter jets in training exercises, instead opting for flight simulators as part of its move to reduce expenditure, reported Finnish-language newspaper Keskisuomalainen.
 
The report said the flight cost per hour in a simulator was just a fraction of what flying a Hornet fighter would cost, thus making the simulators cheaper.
 
Currently, there is a simulator in every Air Command in which Hornet fighters are used in Kuopio, Pirkkala and Rovaniemi.
 
Major Ville Hakala of the Air Force said the use of simulators in training is cost effective in both fuel and maintenance.
 
Hornet fighter jet at Satakunta Air Command. Photo Lehtikuva
He also added that simulators can be incorporated in joint exercises.
 
The use of Hornet fighter jets will be reduced by 900 hours annually compared to previous year, said sources.
 
The authority, however, said they have also planned to increase the flight hours of Hornet Jets from next year.
 
Earlier, the government in mid 2013 also decided to reduce the number of regional defence offices at different parts of the country from early 2015.
 
The move for reduction of the defense units was taken as a part of its gradual expenditure cut programme.
 
Photo Lehtikuva.
Sources said a decision has been made to reduce the number of regional wings to 12 from the existing 19.
 
As per the new structure, the defense offices will be available in Helsinki, Joensuu, Jyväskylä, Kouvola, Kuopio, Lahti, Mikkeli, Oulu, Rovaniemi, Tampere, Turku and Vaasa.
 
The reduction move will also impact on the job of the defense officials, as the number of staff at the units will be 180 from the existing number of 230.
 
The local offices deal with various issues, particularly related to invitation and rehearsal practices of the defense forces.
 
Earlier, the government decided to reduce one-fifth of the total manpower in the country’s defense sector, aiming to reduce the expenditure of EUR 19 million per year.
 
 
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