The Finnish Defence Forces’ Logistics Command has floated out a Request for Information (RfI) on weapons and other equipment regarding the replacement of its air force’s Boeing F/A-18C/D Hornet fleet.
The HX fighter replacement programme was kicked off in November 2015 by defence minister Jussi Niinistö.
The Finnish defence ministry notified the governments of France, Germany, Great Britain, Israel, Norway, Sweden and the United States, seeking weapons and equipment to be procured on a separate contract alongside each nation’s fighter offerings.
“The main goal of the RfI is to determine what capabilities will be available to meet Finland’s estimated future needs and therefore the focus is on available potential and capabilities in the post-2025 period,” the ministry said in a statement Thursday.
A request for a quotation (RfQ) on them will be sent in spring 2018 and procurement contracts are scheduled to be signed by 2021, the ministry said.
The official RfQ to replace the Hornet fleet will be made next year after five aircraft producers – Boeing, Dassault, Eurofighter, Lockheed Martin and Saab, who have responded to the RfIs have been selected.
The ministry said the testing of the suitability of different fighters in Finland’s conditions will be started in 2019 and the final procurement decision will be made in 2021.
“The decision will be based on four considerations: military capabilities of the multi-role fighter, security of supply chain and industrial cooperation, life-cycle costs, and security and defence policy considerations,” it says.
The new multi-role fighters will be introduced in 2025-2030, at the same time as the Hornet fleet will be decommissioned.