Thursday, 27 April 2017

Finland to issue RFPs in 2018 for HX acquisition worth EUR7-10 billion

Finland to issue HX fighter RFPs in 2018

Gareth Jennings, London - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

25 April 2017

Finland is to issue requests for proposals (RFPs) to the governments of five aircraft manufacturers as it looks to replace its current fleet of Boeing F/A-18 Hornet aircraft by 2025, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) announced on 24 April.

The RFPs, which the MOD refers to as Requests for Quotation (RFQ), will be sent in the second quarter of 2018 to the same manufacturers who were sent the original requests for information (RFIs) for Finland's fighter replacement requirement (HX) in December 2016.

The recipients will be BAE Systems for the Eurofighter Typhoon; Boeing for the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and F-15 Eagle; Dassault for the Rafale; Lockheed Martin for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) and F-16 Fighting Falcon; and Saab for the Gripen E.

With the responses to the RFI still being analysed, the RFP/RFQ will contain operating scenarios that are particular to Finland, the MoD noted. While these were not specified, they will likely include Arctic operations, and flying from public roads. It will also assess the aircraft against the country's expected post-2030 defence requirements. Besides the aircraft themselves, the RFP/RFQ will examine weapons, training equipment, personnel training, command and control systems, and maintenance arrangements.

Interestingly, the MOD noted that the RFP/RFQ will include a section in which the manufacturers will be able to demonstrate how the capabilities of their offerings could be augmented by other aircraft types or even unmanned platforms.

The Finnish MOD said that, from the RFI responses, it should be possible to complete the HX acquisition within the EUR7-10 billion (USD7.6-10.6 billion) budgeted for the programme. "All of the candidates' responses indicate that operating and maintenance costs can be covered from present-level defence budgets," the MOD added.

The goal is to start the fighter candidates' environmental testing in Finland in 2019, with the final procurement decision for replacing the Hornet fleet to be taken in 2021.

Original post:

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