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Finland officially sends tender requests for F/A-18 Hornet replacement


The Finnish ministry of defense has completed the tender requests to five producers that are expected to participate in the purchase of the new fighters of the Finnish air force, the ministry said on Monday, April 23 2018.


Finland officially tender requests for F A 18 Hornet replacement 001 A Finnish Air Force F/A-18 fighter jet
(Credit: FAF)


The candidates possible to replace the current fleet of Hornet F/A-18 aircraft are Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet, F-35 from Lockheed Martin, the Eurofighter Typhoon, the Dassault Rafale and Saab Gripen E.

The official tender requests are being sent via the governments of the United States, Britain, France and Sweden.

The purchase price of the some 60 fighters has been estimated between seven and ten billion euros. However, that is estimated to be only one third of the total cost of the use and maintenance during the life span of the fighters.

The ministry on Monday declined to comment on the media reports that France and Germany are planning a joint fighter.

Lauri Puranen, director of the Finnish fighter project, told the national broadcaster Yle that it is "difficult to say whether this European project would increase uncertainty".

Puranen explained that it is vital for Finland that the aircraft that Finland has chosen will be used by other "main users" as far as in 2050s.

Finland is to receive the tenders early next year. The fighters would be in use from the latter half of the 2020s.

Puranen underlined to Yle that all the five fighters are now on the same starting line. "Capability is decisive," said Puranen.

The Finnish Ministry of Defence has authorized the start of the HX Fighter Programme in October 2015, which aims to replace the fleet of Boeing F/A-18 Hornet with a new fighter aircraft. The Hornets are scheduled to be withdrawn from service in the 2025-30 period.