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Best-and-final-offers for Finnish Hornet replacement submitted

All five bidders for Finland’s fighter replacement programme, known as HX, submitted their best-and-final offers (BAFO) to the Finnish Defence Force’s Logistics Command on 29 April.

The options now being evaluated by Finland include the Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler, Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon, Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, and Saab Gripen E and GlobalEye airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft.

Eurofighter Typhoon

BAE Systems has been leading the bid for the HX programme, along with support from the UK government. At a press conference on 29 April, UK Minister of State for Defence Procurement Jeremy Quin revealed that the Typhoon package included the MBDA advanced short-range air-to-air missile (ASRAAM) and Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM); the MBDA Storm Shadow cruise missile; the MBDA SPEAR family of stand-off missiles, including the SPEAR-EW; and the Paveway IV precision-guided bomb. The number of aircraft in the company’s bid was not disclosed.

Training options are “being left open to the Finnish Air Force”, according to Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston. However, the offer “is, broadly, a squadron’s worth of pilots to kick-start Eurofighter in Finnish service and a significant number of those will be trained up to instructor standard. I’m open to partnering with the Finnish Air Force in any aspect of the introduction of Eurofighter into service.”

Industrial support packages for the Eurofighter Typhoon, seen here at the HX Challenge event in early 2020, include work such as engine assembly and maintenance. (Janes/Charles Forrester)

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