The Finnish Defence Forces' Logistics Command received today responses to the Requests for Information regarding the replacement of Hornet aircraft.
The following manufacturers responded: Boeing (F/A-18), Dassault Aviation (Rafale), BAE Systems (Eurofighter Typhoon), Lockheed Martin (F-35) and Saab (JAS Gripen). Covering thousands of pages in English, the responses contain classified information, the Finnish MoD said in a statement Tuesday.
The Defence Forces will give more information about them in April 2017. Finland had notified the five manufacturers regarding its HX fighter-replacement program to replace Boeing’s 61 Hornet fighters in December last year. The aim of the project is to replace the operational capability of the Air Force F/A-18 aircraft which will be phased out as of 2025.
The Finnish Defence Forces' Logistics Command sent Requests for Information (RFI) regarding the replacement of Hornet aircraft to the governments of Great Britain, France, Sweden and the United States. These governments were requested to further send the RFIs to their respective industries which manufacture multi-role fighters.
In the RFIs, budget estimates were asked about the costs of procuring, using and maintaining the systems and their calculation methods. In addition to the actual aircraft, the systems which are reviewed include weapons, training equipment, C2 systems and maintenance arrangements. Manufacturers could also present solutions which include several types of aircraft or unmanned aerial vehicles contributing to the capabilities of multi-role fighters.
The RFIs were sent to defence administrations in countries that manufacture the kind of multi-role fighters and related systems which could meet Finland's requirements to replace the capabilities of the Hornet aircraft. An RFI contains detailed information on the operational principles of air defence and the desired future capabilities. A majority of the information provided and of the responses received are classified.
The Commander of the Air Force is the project owner. The Finnish Defence Forces' Logistics Command is responsible for the technical and commercial preparation of the project while the Ministry of Defence is in charge of providing materiel policy guidance. A call for tender will be sent in spring 2018 and the procurement decision will be made in 2021.