Finland seeks final bids for fighter jet purchase

The project has a total price tag of €10 billion and Air Force officials concede the suppliers are having a hard time keeping their bids under budget.

File picture of Italian Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon in action over Norway during Trident Juncture exercise / Credit: @BAES_Finland Twitter

Finland has sent out letters to five international companies inviting them to officially bid to provide the successor aircraft to the Hornet.

The Finnish Defence Forces Logistics Command asked aircraft manufacturers in four countries to give their offers for multi-role fighter aircrafts to replace Finland’s ageing fleet of 64 F/A-18 Hornets.

The new call for bids continues negotiations that have already taken place.

America’s Lockheed Martin F-35 and Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet; France’s Dassault Rafale; Sweden’s Saab Gripen and the pan-European Typhoon Eurofighter are all expected
to submit bids by the 31 January 2020.

The budget ceiling for the project is €10 billion, and on Friday Major General Kari Renko of the Defence Forces Logistics Department said that all the potential bidders were having trouble keeping their offers under budget.

The final decision for choosing the new Air Force jet is based on five key considerations, which are the multi-role fighter’s military capability; security of supply; industrial cooperation solutions; procurement and life cycle costs; and security and defence policy implications.

The manufacturer is expected to provide assembly, inter-operability, operating systems, weapons and maintenance system that meet the requirements.

The Finnish government will make its final decision, then bring it to parliament for approval in 2021.