Press Releases 2016

22.11.2016 15:00

The Finnish Defence Forces' Logistics Command received responses concerning the replacement of the Hornet aircraft

The Finnish Defence Forces' Logistics Command received today responses to the Requests for Information regarding the replacement of Hornet aircraft. The following manufacturers reponded: Boeing (F/A-18), Dassault Aviation (Rafale), BAE Systems (Eurofighter Typhoon), Lockheed Martin (F-35) and Saab (JAS Gripen). Covering thousands of pages in English, the responses contain classified information. When experts within the Defence Administration have analysed the responses in the course of the coming winter the Defence Forces will give more information about them in April 2017.

The Finnish Defence Forces' Logistics Command sent Requests for Information (RFI) regarding the replacement of Hornet aircraft to the governments of Great Britain, France, Sweden and the United States. These governments were requested to further send the RFIs to their respective industries which manufacture multi-role fighters.

A Request for Information precedes the actual procurement. One of the key goals of an RFI is to ensure that different candidates have the possibility and willingness to take part in Finland's HX fighter project, and to specify alternative concepts, obtain information on systems and define the preliminary need for financing.
Through an RFI it is possible to bring together visions as to what kind of solutions the recipients of the RFIs offer to replace the capabilities of the Air Force F/A-18 aircraft in the post-2030 security environment. An RFI is also a way to collect information on multi-role fighters which is used for detailed planning and budgeting of procurement and for elaborating on the requirements set on the multi-role fighter.

In the RFIs, budget estimates were asked about the costs of procuring, using and maintaining the systems and their calculation methods. In addition to the actual aircraft, the systems which are reviewed include weapons, training equipment, C2 systems and maintenance arrangements. Manufacturers could also present solutions which include several types of aircraft or unmanned aerial vehicles contributing to the capabilities of multi-role fighters.

The RFIs were sent to defence administrations in countries that manufacture the kind of multi-role fighters and related systems which could meet Finland's requirements to replace the capabilities of the Hornet aircraft. An RFI contains detailed information on the operational principles of air defence and the desired future capabilities. A majority of the information provided and of the responses received are classified.

On 19.11.2015, the Defence Forces got a mandate from Defence Minister Jussi Niinistö to start the HX fighter project. The aim of the project is to replace the operational capability of the Air Force F/A-18 aircraft which will be phased out as of 2025. The decision on starting the project is based on the Government programme.
The Commander of the Air Force is the project owner. The Finnish Defence Forces' Logistics Command is responsible for the technical and commercial preparation of the project while the Ministry of Defence is in charge of providing materiel policy guidance. A call for tender will be sent in spring 2018 and the procurement decision will be made in 2021.

Inquiries:

Project Coordinator Lauri Puranen, Ministry of Defence, tel. +358 295 140403,
Deputy Director, Brigadier General (Eng.) Kari Renko, Finnish Defence Forces' Logistics Command, tel. +358 299 800 (Defence Forces' switchboard)


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