HX Program – new fighters for Finland by 2025

The planned service life of Hornets, Finland's current fighters, will end by 2030. The HX Program was set up to replace the current fleet with new fighters.

Fighters are a significant part of Finland’s defence capability

The primary purpose of Finland’s defence capability is to establish deterrence against the use of military force and the threat of its use, as well as to repel attacks on Finland. To perform this task, Finland needs fighters. They are an essential part of the air defence system and Defence Forces’ capability in engaging land- and sea-based targets. The fighter fleet’s capabilities also supplement the Defence Forces’ intelligence, surveillance and command environment.

Fighters cannot be replaced by other systems. Ground-based air defence systems and unmanned aerial vehicles would not have the same capabilities.

Hornets’ service life will end by 2030

Currently, the Finnish fighter fleet consists of Hornets. They were commissioned in 1995–2000. At that time, their service life was expected to be 30 years. The last Hornets will thus be phased out by 2030.

Extending the service life of the Hornet fleet would be neither a cost-effective solution nor sufficient in terms of Finland’s defence. The Hornets’ service life cannot be extended as it is limited by the aircraft’s weakening comparative capabilities and structural fatigue.  The possibility of obtaining system support, spare parts and software is another factor that influences the decision.

HX Fighter Program will take 10 to 15 years to complete

The HX Fighter Program will take about 10 to 15 years to complete. Requests for information and requests for quotations are sent out during the government term 2015–2019. The actual procurement decision will be made in the early 2020s. Read more about the programme's timeline.

Good to know

What does HX stand for?

HX is an acronym traditionally used in the Air Force’ fleet replacement projects. The first letter represents the aircraft to be replaced (Hornet = H). The letter X is typically used to indicate a candidate for replacement.