From the F-35A to Gripen E offered to be a replacement for the F/A-18C/D Finland

From the F-35A to Gripen E offered to be a replacement for the F/A-18C/D Finland
Finnish Air Force's McDonnell Douglas F/A-18C/D Hornet fighter jet. Image source: Blog Before Flight.

avten.asia - Through the HX Programme, which was launched in 2014, Finland gave the opportunity for all seasoned fighter jet manufacturers in the world to offer their most sophisticated products to replace the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18C/D Hornet operated by the Finnish Air Force.

Quoted from janes.com (10/9/2019), Finland also mentioned a number of candidates who had offered to become replacements for Finnish Air Force fighter jets that entering retirement. Among these are the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault Rafale, Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and E/A-18G Growler, and Saab Gripen E.

Based on the schedule in the program, in early 2020 there will be testing and evaluation called the "HX Challenge".

Writing on his blog for the Finnish Ministry of Defense on 9 September, Program Director Lauri Puranen said that the event would take place between January and February 2020 at the Satakunta Airport in Pirkkala, near the city of Tampere.

The purpose of the event would be to further evaluate the bidders' platforms and validate performance claims made during the bidding and negotiation periods that have been ongoing since January 2019.

Puranen said the process was expected to be completed in September following three rounds of discussions with each bidder. A more defined request for quotations is expected in October, with clarifications and modifications to the original requirements to be applied equally to all candidates.