HX program is in a bit of a hibernation it seems from the outside of the Air Force, but in the Air Force they are thoroughly reading through the 8000+ Pages of documentation about the different bidders in the HX-Program. It was rather surprising to hear that the Finland had sent to the United States request for information or a request for proposal from latest F-16 variant and also for the F-15 silent eagle. So in the end it was the United States government’s decision not to include the Viper and the Eagle into the bidding for the HX airplane.
Also it would seem that Boeing with the advanced Super Hornet is laying really low and not having very much contact with the press in Finland for the program. It has been very hard to get into contact with the Boeing and they have not been very forthcoming with the information. Lockheed Martin on the other hand has been providing all kinds of information all the happenings in the Joint Strike Fighter program both in abroad and in the United States. This leads one to think that have the Boeing been “asked” that they keep involvement in the HX-program to minimum and selling their own airplane for Finland would not be encouraged.
This might be because JSF’s checkered reputation and cost overruns. And in my books did not really help that when President Trump said that the program is too expensive the price went down immediately by 600 million US dollars. There may be good reason, but it does make one wonder.
What is also being surprising is that the French with the Dassault Rafale have not been very active in their campaign for the sale of 60+ Fighters for Finland. And this is very surprising considering the excellent reputation the Rafale has from the sandbox Wars it has been involved in. But it may be that they Dassault is waiting for something which is not general knowledge right now. It would be a shame if Dassault threw in the towel in the HX-Program because I honestly think that the Rafale is the black horse of the race. and it is the plane of choice for deep penetration and CAS.
the Brits with Euro Fighter Typhoon and the Swedes with Saab Gripen E have a promised very nice loans and terms of purchase. The Swedes went even so far that you wouldn’t have to pay the loan on the fighters until the last of the Gripens were flying in Finnish colours. All european contenders have promised full technology transfers and asseblylines in Finland, which is a must from National defense point of wiev. Eurofighter has taken Finnish journalists into Ämäri Air Force Base in Estonia to see the Typhoon in action and I do not have any doubt that Eurofighter is plane of choice if you are looking air dominance fighter taken to extreme.
Saab Gripen is a bit different story compared to other competition in the HX-Program it is on the cheap side very capable but single engine So it doesn’t have the carrying capacity of, for example, Rafale does. It doesn’t fly quite as high and fast as Typhoon, but it still never the less has formidable kinematics. So maybe not as good as Rafale and Typhoon in their optimizations, but nevertheless Jas-39 Gripen E will be a prime-time fighter.
So it would be interesting and advanced Super Hornet Stand in this HX-Program, and why the french are taking a breather. Finland wants to know.