Comparison and selection of fighters – this is how we will select the best multi-role fighter for Finland

Many factors affect the comparison and selection of the Hornets’ replacements. The most important criterion will be the fighter’s capabilities. The assessment will be carried out by the best experts in Finland. 

Options for replacing Hornets

In spring 2016, a request for information was sent to the United Kingdom, Sweden, France and the United States. This request produced information about the following fighter models:

  • Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet (United States)
  • Dassault Rafale (France)
  • Eurofighter Typhoon (UK)
  • Lockheed Martin F-35 (United States)
  • Saab Gripen (Sweden)

Comparison and selection of fighters – what criteria will be used to make the selection?

The selection of fighters will be a significant decision in terms of security policy, defence policy and national economy. Many factors affect this decision. The following have been specified as areas of key importance for making the decision:

  • Capabilities. The system's capability to win fights during its service life.
  • Costs. Can we afford to purchase, use and develop the system throughout is life cycle?
  • Security of supply and the domestic industry’s role. The usability of the system in times of peace and war.
  • Security and defence policy impacts. Potential impacts of the selection on Finland’s security and defence cooperation.

While the most crucial area for making the decision on the fighter selection is capabilities, all other areas are also important. The comparison of fighters will be carried out by the best experts in Finland. The defence administration will then make a proposal on the type and number of fighters to be procured. The final decision will be made by the Government in 2021. The funding for the project will be approved by Parliament. Read more about HX Fighter Programme timeline.

Good to know

Selecting a fighter takes foresight

A fighter is a high-technology weapons system. In order to serve Finland’s defence, it must be at least equal in quality to the enemy's weapons.

The service life of the new fighters is expected to extend till the 2060s. This is why we must select them with foresight. When selecting the new fighter, we need to be able to assess its development potential. Assessing the aircraft’s development potential is more important than looking at its current qualities.

All candidates have prepared a development programme. The scope of their contents, the specificity of the plans and the foreseeable prices of the development programmes vary, however.