The HX bids were in by the end of April, and there were no big bangs fired in the media. SAAB’s and Boeing’s bids were generally known. Lockheed Martins foreign military sales permit allows also for 64 fighters, but it is not known, if that is the actual number proposed. It is of course common sence that the Dassault and BAE bids are in the same ballpark, as the number 64 is really dictated by fourship up in north and south at all times 24/365 with a few spares to make time for maintainance. 8x(24/4)x1,3=62,4 planes. This is conviniently just about what “daddy sunshine” Josef Stalin dictated in 1948. The right number should be closer to 100 than 60. So 86 might be the real number. Of course HX fighter will be supplemented by “Air force teaming assets” ie Loyal wingmen in 2030’ies so, I’m not too worried about this lack of platforms. This is not in any way limited to Boeing Australias exellent “Loyal Wingman” but concept is in development for all HX candidates, but it seems Boeing has a hefty head start in this.
Boeings Loyal WIngman as an artist expression. This aircraft flew her maiden flight earlier in 2021. I wrote something about said aircraft and there is a longer piece coming this summer.
In political front SAAB can be very happy as it seems the lefty-greenie government is going to be the one to give the nod in late 2021. And as swedes can do no wrong as far as said coalition is concerned things look good for the Gripen E.
Of course there is the EU connection concerning the Typhoon and Rafale, and I think the French might be ready to exert some pressure/influense on Finnish Govt. This could be extra money from EU relief bill, or some other boon, but I’m at loss what it might be. Same goes with the Germany of course. Britons in the other hand are most important defense partner of Finland after Sweden, which might play a role here.
F/A-35 A is of course been the forerunner because of “reasons”, but as it seems her career might be cut shorter by recent developments, I see Lockheed-Martins chances shrinking. F-35 A stealthcapabilities is of course the selling point, but in many other aspects F-35 struggles in competition.
The Americans benefit from the change of the POTUS, but as president Trump was eager to sell the F/A-18 E to Finland, this might lessen the propability of Rhino reeling in the bid. It is not known how VP Harris sees the deal, but I’d say Americans are still on the rise.
Kinematics A2S capabilities
fast run up time
FAF sayso in future development
SAAB involvement in R&D in FIN
fyture expansion BC Typhoon
My views on matter are of course highly subjective, but I feel that are about the can of worms where the reasoning comes. As to question which is the strongest bid right now? Hmm. Maybe all things considered SAAB Gripen. Main reasons being the pledge to take FAF views wery strongly into consideration in path forward (This is evident on that SwAF will get their Gripen Es with software and equpment FAF pics; So big say in R&D for minor partner.) If the economics is the sole factor, nod will go to the Boeing and Rhino. This is not to say that Rhino and Growler are not VVS beating combo in their own right.
I may be overestimating SAAB’s chanses, because the relative closed mouthesness of Dassault, who has exellent fighter, and clear path forward. France is quite assertive in their politics, so there might be something there, that is not common knowledge. So I’d always keep the Rafale in mind. and Rafale’s performance and kinematics were on great display in Kauhava airshow August last.