This is how the fighter procurement will progress – timeline of the HX Fighter Program
The fighter procurement will take 10 to 15 years to complete. The final decision on the new fighters will be made by the end of 2021.
From request for information to call for tenders
The first significant task of the program was to prepare and send
out requests for information to the defence administrations of the United
Kingdom, France, Sweden and the United States. They were asked to redirect
Finland’s request for information to the industries manufacturing multi-role
fighters in their countries.
The request for information sent out in spring 2016 contained descriptions of fights that could occur in the operational environment of Finland's air defence. The recipients were asked to suggest solution models for replacing the Hornet fleet’s capabilities in missions indicated by the fight scenarios of Finland’s security environment after 2030.
Information was also requested on:
- weapons systems
- training equipment
- command and control system
- maintenance arrangements
- the domestic industry’s role
- initial prices
The multi-role fighters on which responses to the request for information were received were Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet, Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon, Lockheed Martin F-35 and Saab Gripen.
The responses to the request for information were analysed, and the preparation of a more detailed call for tenders was launched on this basis in the HX Fighter Program. This call for tenders was sent to the states and manufacturers representing the listed five fighter types in April 2018. In practice, sending out the call for tenders means that Finland is committed to procuring the fighters.
The Finnish Defence Forces' Logistics Command sent the invitations to tender in spring 2018 for the HX Fighter Programme and have received replies from five aircraft manufacturers.
A more specific RFQ will be sent in the second half of 2019; this will be followed by the second phase of negotiations during which the content of procurement packages will be finalised. The second phase of negotiations will end in 2020; the manufacturers will then be requested to submit final tender documents. The government will make the decision on the replacement of the Hornet fleet in 2021.