Finland gets the green light to buy F-35, F-18 and billions of dollars in weapons
WASHINGTON - The State Department approved the sale of the F / A-18EF Super Hornet and F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to Finland on October 9, paving the way for the nation to purchase American jets if Boeing or Lockheed Martin win theirs should be continuous fighting competition.
The two offers from the USA face each other in a multinational competition, which also includes the Frenchman Dassault Rafale, the Eurofighter Typhoon made in Great Britain and the Swedish Saab Gripen E / F.
The $ 12.5 billion F-35 package includes 64 conventional F-35A take-off and landing jets, 66 Pratt & Whitney F135 engines, and the aircraft's associated communications and electronic warfare systems. In particular, it not only contains the aircraft's current logistics system - the troubled autonomous logistics information system - but also its replacement - the integrated network for operational data that is under development.
The Super Hornet package, valued at $ 14.7 billion, includes 50 single-seat F / A-18E jets, eight two-seat F / A-18F and 14 EA-18G Growlers, the electronic attack variant. The package also includes 166 F414-GE-400 engines for the twin-engine fighter, sniper target sleeves, AN / APG-79 radars, AN / ALR-67 (V) 3 countermeasures against electrical warfare, and Jammer Midband and advanced electronic attack kits for the EA-18G.
Both offerings include a range of ammunition for the aircraft, including 500 small-diameter Bomb II weapons, 150 AIM-9X missiles, 200 extended-range joint air-to-ground proximity missiles, joint stand-off weapons, and joint ammunition kits for direct attack stupid bombs in precision-guided Weapons and various test and support equipment for training and maintenance.
After the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency published the notice of the possible sale, the Finnish Ministry of Defense issued a statement clarifying that the announcement was an important procedural step for the HX Fighter program, negotiations with all competitors have not yet been completed.
"The announcement of the notification process does not constitute a procurement decision by Finland as the government will make the decision on procurement of multipurpose fighters in 2021," the statement said. Furthermore, the types and quantities of multipurpose combatants and weapons specified in the notice do not constitute the final content of the Finnish procurement package. Instead, the list published by the DSCA contains the items and quantities that the US government wishes to sell at this stage of the procurement process . "
Finland also addressed the price of the packages, which exceeded the country's budget of US $ 12 billion for the total cost of the program.
“In the FMS procedure, the quantities and prices proposed for approval are generally set higher than those specified by the purchasing country in its own request. This formality is intended to avoid having to submit a new and time-consuming convention notification if the purchasing country makes changes to the procurement package. "
The HX competition winner will produce up to 64 fighters to replace the Finnish Boeing F / A-18C / D hornets, which are expected to be retired by 2030. Rather than having a requirement for a specific number of aircraft with set capabilities, Finland will allow vendors to create packages of aircraft and weapons that best suit the operational needs of the Air Force - and the nation's budget.
Despite financial setbacks for the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Finnish Ministry of Defense proposed in August a massive increase in defense budget spending in 2021 from $ 2 billion in 2020 to $ 5.8 billion next year, with much of the surge caused by the pandemic, HX competition.
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