US F-35, F-18 Join Finland Fighter Procurement Race

  • Our Bureau
  • 06:12 AM, October 10, 2020
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US F-35, F-18 Join Finland Fighter Procurement Race

The U.S. State Department today approved the sale of F-35 jets, or F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft, for an estimated $15 billion to Finland.

This procurement is part of Nordic nation’s HX fighter replacement programme. The proposed sale will replace Finland's retiring F/A-18C/Ds and enhance its air-to-air and air-to-ground self-defense capability.

These proposals are being offered in the context of the competition. If a proposal is accepted, it is expected that offset agreements will be required. Any offset agreement will be defined in negotiations between the purchaser and the contractor(s),” the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in a release today.

Besides Lockheed Martin F-35 and Boeing's Super Hornet, other in contention include Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault Rafale and Saab Gripen.

In August this year, Finland announced a plan to increase the military’s budgetary framework in 2021 by $2 billion to $5.8 billion to meet phase one of the HX fighter replacememtn project’s phase 1 procurement costs.

US F-35, F-18 Join Finland Fighter Procurement Race
F-35 combat jet

F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft proposal for Finland

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft contract includes air-to-air missiles and air-to-ground precision guided munitions and related equipment for an estimated cost of $12.5 billion.

The Government of Finland has requested to buy 64 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter CTOL aircraft; 66 Pratt & Whitney F-135 engines,  500 GBU-53/B Small Diameter Bomb II,   Sidewinder AIM-9X Block II+ (Plus) Tactical Missiles; and other equipment. Also included are Electronic Warfare Systems; Command, Control, Communications, Computer and Intelligence/Communications, Navigational, and Identification (C4I/CNI) and others

The prime contractors will be Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, Fort Worth, TX; Pratt & Whitney Military Engines, East Hartford, CT; The Boeing Company, St. Charles, MO; and Raytheon Missiles and Defense, Tucson, AZ.

US F-35, F-18 Join Finland Fighter Procurement Race
F/A-18 Super Hornets

F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and Weapons proposal

The State Department also green lighted a Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Finland of F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft and weapons and related equipment for an estimated cost of $14.7 billion.

The Government of Finland has requested to buy 50 F/A-18E Super Hornet aircraft; eight  F/A-18F Super Hornet aircraft besides 14 EA-18G Growler aircraft along with engines, missiles, bombs and other weapons. Also included are AN/APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radars; AN/AAQ-28(V) Litening Targeting Pod and other systems.

The principal contractors will be The Boeing Company, St. Louis, MO; Northrop Grumman, Los Angeles, CA; Raytheon Company, El Segundo, CA; Raytheon Missile Systems Company, Tucson, AZ; General Electric, Lynn, MA; and Lockheed Martin, Troy, AL. 

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