Eurofighter has offered Finland the chance to join Europe's largest combat aircraft programme in an updated proposal to the HX fighter acquisition programme.
The revised proposal, submitted earlier this week comes at a time when Saab has commenced its flight trials in Finland as part of HX procurement. The Swedish firm has offered its Gripen jet plus GlobalEye early warning system as a package.
The revised offer could mean inviting Finland to join the Future Air Combat System (FCAS), billed as a successor to the Eurofighter.
In January, Eurofighter took part in the HX Challenge Flight Evaluation Trials, led by the Finnish Defence Forces in Tampere. The trials saw two Royal Air Force jets perform over a five-day period to demonstrate many of the capabilities which form the offering of the Eurofighter consortium, which teams BAE Systems alongside leading European defence contractors Airbus and Leonardo.
Ahead of the trials, representatives of the Governments of the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain confirmed their commitment to a capability roadmap which will keep Eurofighter in the frontline of European defence for decades to come.
John Rossall, Campaign Director at BAE Systems said “We are delighted to present our updated proposal to Finland on behalf of the Eurofighter consortium. Our proposal is an invitation to Finland to join leading nations in Europe with a shared defence objective.”
The HX competition participants include Gripen, Eurofighter and Dassault Rafale. The Swedish Gripen jets cost around €50 million per unit to produce, making them the cheapest jets in the competition going on at Finland’s Perkkala air field.