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Strategic air transport capability

Through the Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC) project, Finland can utilise the capacity of the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III heavy military transport aircraft.

The project was founded in 2008 and covers a total of 12 countries: Finland, Sweden, Hungary, Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovenia and the United States. The Member States are committed to the project and its development for 30 years.

The capabilities provided by SAC make it possible to react quickly to sudden transport needs arising from various crises. Shared transport capacity is a cost-effective solution, as Member States share the costs of the project according to their quotas of flight hours. The countries operate three C-17 transport aircraft, operated by the multinational heavy air command, Heavy Airlift Wing, based in Pápa, Hungary. The air wing has about 145 personnel and four Finns serve in Pápa. The SAC provides its member countries with a total of 3,165 flight hours per year, of which each country may fly aircraft for a certain number of hours. Finland's national share is 100 annual C-17 flight hours.

Use of flights

Finland has used its own flight hours for rotation and maintenance flights of Finnish troops, for example in Lebanon's UNIFIL and Afghanistan's ISAF and Resolute Support operations. The Strategic Airlift Capability project will be able to respond to Member States' requests for data at short notice. For example, SAC C-17 flights that began in July 2009 have supported:

  • Member States' troops in NATO, UN and EU crisis management operations;
  • National and international exercises and trainings
  • Humanitarian aid

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