FINLAND’S ILMAVOIMAT (Finnish Air Force) announced on April 13 that its Learjet 35As, which have been in service since 1982, have begun going through an upgrade programme to extend their service lives. As part of this process, the rather attractive camouflage colours previously worn by them is being replaced by an overall gloss grey scheme, matching that of the other aircraft in the Finnish Air Force liaison and transport aircraft fleet. The first Learjet to be repainted, LJ-1, was rolled out of the facilities of Danish Aircraft Painting at Odense airport on April 12. It was then due to be ferried to Nuremberg, Germany, for completion of the modification work by Aero-Dienst GmbH & Co.
The work includes new avionics systems, mission-specific equipment and modifications to the seating arrangements in the passenger cabin. The Ilmavoimat has three Learjets in service, all operated by the 2nd Flight of the Tukilentolaivue (Air Support Squadron) at Tampere-Pirkkala Air Base. The type is used for materiel and personnel transport, aerial photography and target towing duties. On aircraft is used purely for the communications/liaison role, while the other two are configured for combat support tasks.