Hornets will be replaced by manned multi-role fighters

Multi-role fighters are the right solution for replacing the Hornets. Other systems cannot fully substitute for them.

The Defence Forces’ duty is to defend the entire territory of the nation. For the Air Force, this means that the fighters must be able to flexibly cover the whole country.

Hornets will be replaced by multi-role fighters

Multi-role fighters will be the most efficient choice for taking over the Hornet fleet's current tasks. This is one of the clear conclusions of the Defence Forces’ development plan.

The justifications for this conclusion are given in an open access document titled the Preliminary Assessment for Replacing the Capabilities of the Hornet Fleet. The preliminary assessment also explains how the fighters’ capabilities will be complemented with ground-based air defence systems. According to the assessment, unmanned aerial vehicles or other systems should be considered at a later date.

Fighters cannot be replaced by ground-based air defence and unmanned aerial vehicles

GBAD is an important part of Finland’s air defence but no substitute for fighters. Air defence can be used to protect important targets. However, it cannot provide national protection against an airborne threat.

Neither do unmanned aerial vehicle systems have the same capabilities as fighters. The missions and properties of fighters are clearly more versatile.

Finland needs a sufficient number of fighters

Finland needs a sufficient number of fighters with adequate speed, reach and fire power. The number and capabilities of the fighters must be adequate to ensure that they can operate across the entire country, also for long periods.

Airborne operations, protecting targets of national importance and air-to-ground strikes are essential for implementing the Defence Forces’ operations. To perform these tasks, at least the current number of multi-role fighters will be needed.

Hornet replacement will have capabilities to engage targets in the air, on land and at sea

Multi-role fighters have a significant role in Finland's defence. They are a deterrence for military use of force or an attack against Finland.

In normal times, fighters are used to monitor and secure Finland's territorial integrity. Multirole fighters protect the Finnish air space and challenge the enemy's air supremacy. Control of the Finnish airspace is important, as otherwise society will be at the mercy of the enemy’s airborne attacks.

The fighters protect the Defence Forces’ troops against air threats. They make it possible to disperse the fighter fleet and protect the units during mobilisation. 

The multi-role fighters’ capabilities for air-to-ground and air-to-sea strikes as well as surveillance and intelligence capabilities will bring significant added value for our defence system.  These capabilities will slow down and weaken the enemy and strike at their critical vulnerabilities.