Finland's Ministry of Defence issued a request for quotation (RFQ) for its €10 billion HX fighter competition to Boeing (F/A-18), Dassault (Rafale), Eurofighter (Typhoon), Lockheed (F-35) & Saab (Gripen), on Thursday.
“The Advanced Call for Proposals sent now initiates the second negotiation phase, which will determine the final contents of the procurement packages with each bidder. At the end of the second negotiation phase, final bids will be requested in late 2020,” the ministry announced on Friday.
The procurement decision will be made by the Government in 2021.
Preliminary Request for Information (RFI) on suitable weapons and other task-related external equipment for the HX project, intended to replaced obsolete Hornet planes, was issued in March 2017.
The bidding phase began in the spring of 2018 after the Defense Forces Logistics Department sent out an initial invitation to tender for the HX project and a call for tenders.
Responses to the call for tenders arrived in January 2019, and the first phase of the HX project negotiation started.
The RFQ issued on Oct 31 includes consolidated price of fighters, associated systems and weapons. Responses to the RFQ is expected by January 31, 2020.
The Finnish Air Force will evaluate the candidates’ capabilities in five categories of operations: counter-air, counter-land, counter-sea, long-range strike as well as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. In addition, the candidates’ development potential until the 2060s and their ability to adapt to the Finnish Air Force doctrine will be assessed. Each candidate has to offer a maintenance system enabling sufficient self-reliance under emergency conditions, the Air Force said in a tweet.
“The tender invites each contractor to aggregate the information provided in the initial tender and negotiation into a clear, updated and improved package. The invitation to tender is specific to each bidder, which means that each bidder's bid is based on the entity already offered and its refinement needs,” the ministry said.
The criteria and guidance for the invitation to tender are set out in the Government Program and the Government Defense Report (2017). At the meeting in early October, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Policy Ministers approved the sending of a revised invitation to tender. The budget for the HX project was set at €10 billion, read the statement.
The contract includes technical systems, training systems, necessary maintenance equipment, test equipment and spare parts, as well as weapons, sensors and other type-specific support functions, construction of security-critical infrastructure.