To replace the Hornet fleet, the Finnish Defence Forces' Logistics Command has sent a preliminary Request for Information on suitable weapons and other task-related external equipment for the fighter aircraft. The RfI was sent to a number of government representatives in countries where such weapons and equipment are manufactured (France, Germany, Great Britain, Israel, Sweden and the United States). The governments were asked to forward the RfI to weapons manufacturers in their countries.
The goal of the RfI is to establish the true weapons and equipment options offered by the candidates for the HX project (F/A-18, Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon, F-35 and JAS Gripen). To be able to compare capabilities, information will be collected also on prices, availability, life-cycle costs and integration into different fighter models. Together with the future multi-role fighter, weapons and equipment will form an entity fit for task. Procurement of weapons and equipment is part of the HX project and is included in the budget.
The deadline for answers to the preliminary RFIs is in mid-June. The actual RfIs on weapons and equipment will be sent in August-September 2017.
Tenderers are informed of what kind of weapons and equipment will be procured for the fighters replacing the Hornet fleet so that fighter manufacturers will be able to support weapons suppliers, if necessary. Negotiations to procure weapons and equipment will be scheduled to take place alongside negotiations to procure fighters; this will ensure that aircraft-specific systems can be managed. Some of the weapons can be used in several of the fighter candidates.
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 regarding the replacement for the Horner fleet will be sent in spring 2018 and the procurement decision is scheduled to be made in 2021.