Last August U.S. President Donald Trump said during a joint news conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö in Washington that Finland had agreed to purchase a large number of F/A-18E/F Super Hornets from Boeing. That claim was denied by Niinistö later on Twitter
The Finnish Ministry of Defense (MoD) has concluded that the country needs a one-to-one replacement for its F/A-18 fleet which have served the Finnish military since 1992 and that will be retired by 2030.
According to yle.fi the defence report, which was approved by the Parliament in February, says that the readiness of the current fleet must be fully maintained after the procurement.
“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,” says Lauri Puranen from MoD.
“That is the minimum number we need to defend a country of this size.”
Last April Finnish MoD said that requests for proposals (RFPs) will be sent in early 2018 to the same manufacturers who were sent the original requests for information (RFIs) for Finland’s fighter replacement requirement (HX) in December 2016. The recipients will be Boeing (for the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and F-15 Eagle), Lockheed Martin (for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter and F-16 Fighting Falcon), Saab (for the Gripen E), Dessault Aviation (for the Rafale) and BAE Systems (for the Eurofighter Typhoon). In 2019 a newly elected government will decide the winner.
The Finnish MoD said to Jane’s that, from the RFI responses, it should be possible to complete the HX acquisition within the EUR7-10 billion (USD7.6-10.6 billion) budgeted for the programme. “All of the candidates’ responses indicate that operating and maintenance costs can be covered from present-level defence budgets,” the MOD added.
Noteworthy last August U.S. President Donald Trump said during a joint news conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö in Washington that Finland had agreed to purchase a large number of F/A-18E/F Super Hornets from Boeing.
Photo credit: Alastair Barbour (https://www.flickr.com/photos/aceebee/19967522429/) via Wikipedia and Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Ignacio D. Perez / U.S. Navy