Finnish military invites bids to supply 64 multi-role fighter jets

Finland’s military invited bids on Friday to supply 64 multi-role fighter aircraft to replace its ageing fleet of F/A-18 Hornet jets, which are due to be phased out from 2025. The deal is expected to cost $9-12 billion, Reuters said. Possible candidates include Saab’s Gripen, Dassault’s Rafale, Boeing’s Super Hornet, Lockheed Martin’s F-35, and the Eurofighter, a joint project by Airbus, BAE and Leonardo. “If we want to keep defending the entire Finnish territory in a credible way, this is a necessity, especially as we do not belong to a military alliance,” Defense Minister Jussi Niinisto said. Performance of the jets will be the main criterion. US President Donald Trump suggested last year that Finland had already chosen Hornets, made by US group Boeing, but Finnish officials denied that. Finland shares a 1,340km border with Russia.