Finland starts its HX Fighter Programme

World Defense & Security News - Finland
Finland starts its HX Fighter Programme
The Finnish Ministry of Defence has authorized the start of the HX Fighter Programme, which will 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 The Hornets are scheduled to be withdrawn from service in the 2025-30 period, so that the new fighter will be fully operational by 2030.
Finland starts its HX Fighter Programme 640 001A Finnish Air Force F/A-18 Hornet fighter aircraft
Finland opted to procure a new fighter aircraft after having considered the option of upgrading the fleet of F/A-18. The Finnish MoD published on the 8 June 2015 “Preliminary Assessment for Replacing the Capabilities of the Hornet Fleet - Final Report”. According to the document, upgrading the Hornets would only delay the decision for a new aircraft by five years at most.

A considerable in size life-extension programme would inflict added expenses to the life-cycle management and cost-risks of system support. Based on the report, the Finnish MoD would need an additional funding of EUR1.2 billion in the 2018-22 period, while the upgraded aircraft would only be available after eight years. For these reasons, the MoD decided that the best way to move forward would be the launch of the new fighter aircraft procurement programme.

The HX Fighter Programme will address the needs for a multi-role fighter. The MoD’s report states that a multi-role platform is necessary in an operating environment in flux and in order to be used nationwide, with flexibility. In overall, a multi-role aircraft will have a greater impact on all kinds of operations, namely air, ground and maritime ones.