Finland’s Ministry of Defense plans to invite bids for the purchase of 64 new fighter jets for replacing its Boeing F/A-18 Hornets fleet for an approximate 7-10 billion euros.
The ministry said it will send out tender invitations in early 2018 to Boeing and Lockheed Martin from the US, Saab from Sweden, Dassault Aviation in France and the British-European BAE Systems.
"We have interpreted that to mean 64 fighter jets, because the new jets are not faster and can't stay up in the air any longer than the current ones, we will require the same number of jets to maintain the performance of our air defence", Lauri Puranen from the Ministry was quoted as saying by Yle news portal Friday.
The Finnish Parliament has decided that it will spend between 7 and 10 billion euros on the new jets, which will make the acquisition the biggest purchase by Finland ever.
The new government taking up office in 2019 will make a decision about purchasing fighter jets to replace the current stock of Hornet jets at the end of 2021. The current fleet will be retired by 2030.