Finland has been invited to have a role in the future capability development for the advanced new radar for Eurofighter as part of the proposed deal for the aircraft.

Jeremy Quin MP, the UK’s Minister of State for Defence Procurement said during a press event I atteded online that a role in developing the new ECRS Mk 2 radar is part of Eurofighter’s “best and final” offer to Finland’s HX fighter acquisition programme.

The European consortium, backed by the Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK, is also developing 70 packages of work which will create significant numbers of high-quality, long-term jobs with more than 100 Finnish companies.

Speaking at a virtual briefing, Mr Quin spoke of the UK and Finland’s shared defence and security threats from Russia and other “non-state adversaries” and confirmed the UK’s commitment to strengthening its Joint Expeditionary Force, where it partners with Finland.

“I have invited Finland to join the UK’s ECRS Mk2 radar programme, bringing Finnish expertise into its future development for the benefit of both our countries. I am not alone in wanting Finnish expertise to be part of developing our future capability, the other Eurofighter partner nations are committed to making sure Finland is part of the decision-making. As we look forward to Europe leaving behind the challenges of this terrible pandemic, let’s focus our investment in European technology and capability that gives us the military edge we need and supports European jobs.”

Air Chief Marshal Sir Michael Wigston, Chief of Air Staff, Royal Air Force, added that Finland was being offered “a long term partnership with the RAF” as part of the Eurofighter offer.

“For Finland, Eurofighter would be a gateway in to Europe’s defence and aerospace programmes, defending our skies and deterring our potential adversaries in to the future.”

Andrea Thompson, Managing Director – Europe & International, BAE Systems – Air, said the industry partners behind the Eurofighter offer were in advanced talks with Finnish industry about more than 70 packages of work.

“More than 100 Finnish companies will benefit from proposed packages of work, which will deliver significant numbers of jobs. We will ensure Finnish industry benefits from the creation of highly-skilled jobs that are needed to build, maintain and upgrade the aircraft over many decades. This will deliver high-quality, long-term jobs which will stay in Finland for as long as Eurofighter will remain in service in Finland.”

Speaking on behalf of the EUROJET consortium, which produces the EJ200 engine for Eurofighter, Alex Zino, Executive Vice President of Business Development and Future Programmes for Rolls-Royce Defence, said:

“As part of our offer, Finnish Defence personnel and strategic industry partners will be given the sovereign capability and skills, as well as operational knowledge on the engine, in order to lead on all activities where EUROJET will become a supplier to Finland. This transfer will result in a combined workload of approximately 1.5 million man hours over 40 years.”

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John Clark

Typhoon equipped with the MK2 radar and it’s advanced mission systems and weapons in the hands of very capable Finnish pilots, would give Finland an extremely robust capability.

Well able to keep the Russian bear at bay and absolutely savage them if called to the fight!

Nate m

of Course they will the Finns have held of 2 Russian invasions! plus the best the Russians can do is probably a su 35 or something with similar capabilities.

George Royce

The Scandies always make good tech and know their stuff. I hope we have more cooperation with them in future as well.

Geoffrey Roach

I spent some time in Norway and even now they kike the British. I think we have a real opportunity here if we can manage and expand the role of the J.E.F. along with our old friends in Holland and the Baltic states.


Bit of a shame that Finland has virtually no standing army though, I do question if they can call up their reserves in time.
One of the reasons for better EU defence integration might be that countries like Finland and Sweden that aren’t in Nato can be pulled into European/NATO defence networks. Reinforcing the Northern flank might be easier if the Swedes and Fins made an advance into Norway more difficult.


I’ve never seen that point raised before, interesting. Finland has stated publicly that an attack on Estonia would be treated as an attack on Finland and the defence agreement with Sweden means if Finland is attacked, Sweden will get involved.

However, that then raise the point, do we need the British tripwire force in Estonia?

Very interesting politics going on at a very high level no down and the Bear will be grappling with the potential outcomes no end; giving them substantial pause for thought one would hope.


gord blimey – can we have edit please! raises and …no doubt the Bear…


But will they enter war if the Russians invade Latvia? A country that is actually ar more risk of “intervention” than Estonia?
British tripwire forces are meant to ensure Britain will declare war, and demonstrate NATO solidarity. Also remember US/UK forces can’t be tripwire in Finland because they are not in NATO, but EU forces might be able to if a common command structure and policy could ever be worked out.

john melling

They have an active 36,479 and have about 900,000 in reserve


No, they gqve 8,000 regulars, and about 25,000 conscripts on a 2 year mandatory service, that is not an active standing army (and those numbers are tri service not army), 900,000 is the number of personnel who qt some point in their lives where conscripts and are liable for recall. This is *not* a standing army.

Stand Off Rocket Man

The Finns would jump up and fight for their country at a moment’s notice, no doubt about it. Great people, but very idiosyncratic. I know many Finns very well.


Same, doesn’t change the fact that they have a militia that has to be called up, and hasn’t fought a war since the 1940s, not a standing army.

Stand Off Rocket Man

No, it’s not a standard army, but what i’m saying is they would jump to protect their land without having to be called up.

Finland has large reserves of old but robust Soviet military pieces, I think 122mm. What would be interesting to know is how quickly they could get them onto the front line.


I’m sure they are really willing but you can’t ignore the truth that mobilising a reserve takes time, waving that away by saying they’d jump to it.
It is not the winter of 1940 anymore (and even then everyone seems to forget the Fins lost both the Winter and Continuation War) Vyborg is a 3 hour drive from Helsinki, and there are no longer any natural obstacles and defences like there where in the 40s.


Reeks of desperation.


Yup, Saab’s gravitational pull will be hard to resist.


Not really. We can’t match the American offers on economies of scale nor the Swedish offer on unit price with the Gripen. The Typhoons closest competitor is Raflale and we know the French will use all sorts of sweeteners and murky tactics to win orders. By offering the incentive of work for local industries and talking up the level of cooperation and access to tech they’d get we are merely pulling out all the stops to win orders. It’s an extremely competitive market with a lot of options. Typhoon won’t be picked up by anyone if we sit back and… Read more »

John Clark

You certainly raise a very interesting pont Challenger … It has to be said, Gripen E is a natural choice and would also be perfectly capable of ripping into the hordes of attacking Russians too…

Matthew Lupo

We are not going to win the order, so here is more money to sweeten the deal.


Indeed, this will go the same way as every other contest that includes …

the F-35!

Regardless of what new things can be stuffed in the Typhoon or Rafale, Gripen and Super Hornet for that matter the F-35 represents a quantum leap in capabilities that every Airforce that has tested it in comparison with what else is on the market have wanted it.

Also lets be honest about Typhoon, every new feature proffered here has not been seen on anything but a prototype whilst the F-35 is in actual service with its cutting edge technology.


The only thing that muddies the waters for the F35 are noises being made in the US right now saying they may start looking at other fighter ‘if’ F35 sustainment costs don’t come down.

Nigel Collins

Gripen is also on the cards, but this deal looks more promising than it did originally.

It’s a pity we couldn’t find more in the defence budget to replace our retiring Typhoons.

Peter S

It’s hard to imagine that the only combat aircraft UK will buy before Tempest in 2035 will be a handful of extra F35s. We need to replace the retiring Typhoons and keep production lines open.
Ideally we should increase Typhoon numbers further: the commitment to 7 squadrons looks tricky with the existing fleet.

Nigel Collins

Agreed Peter, It will be interesting to see how the US moves forward with either the continued purchase of F35’s or a split buy of the clean sheet design to replace their ageing 1000 F16’s.

I think 2021 is going to be a very interesting year!

Meirion X

I agree that Air National Guard(ANG) wings don’t really need the F-35A’s, only front line USAF wings need them. So a successor for the F-16 would be sufficient for ANG wings.


UK Typhoon production line has already closed, these would be assembled in Finland if won though would keep the suppliers production lines open. The rush to field a combat drone seems to be what the government is seeing as the industrial bridge between Typhoon and Tempest.


Thought Qatari Typhoons were still being assembled for now in the UK. Deliveries run through to next year as I understand.


Yes some of the Kuwait ones were being manufactured in the UK and final assembly in Italy and the Qatar ones were due to be delivered between 2022-2024 but I understand they asked for them to be accelerated so they were in service before the World Cup in 2022.

Nigel Collins

Slightly off-topic. I thought the answer to this had already been made clear by some of our regular experts? Correct me if I’m wrong? You can see how time and money is wasted when all they had to do was sign up to UKDJ for free to find this information out! “The Pentagon office managing the military’s costliest program says it may be several months before it can even say when the last and most critical stage of combat testing for Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-35 jet can begin. The F-35 program office is evaluating results of an assessment by university software… Read more »

Meirion X

If seems the Pentagon prefers Defence News!


Gripen + AWACS would seem like the logical choice for Finland, but somehow I feel F35 will win this one. LM has been campaigning and lobbying intensely in Finland. I see little to no chance for Typhoon or Rafale. F18 ASH is also in the mix, but i don’t get the feeling Finland is looking for a stop gap measure.
I’ve been wrong before so will wait & see
My 2 cents
PS if you’re interested about the HX Challenge in Finland, i suggest you read Corporal Frisk’s blog/twitter, it’s very detailed and regularly updated

Last edited 6 days ago by Lordtemplar

I hope the Typhoon has a fairly good chance of winning this order because a failure would undoubtedly result in the closure of the production line, as I cannot see any other new customers on the horizon. Apart from new variants of the Hawk, BAE would only be manufacturing sections for the F-35 until the Tempest comes on stream in the future.


Germany are likely to order even more on top of their recent order to replace their Tornado’s and Spain are also likely to go for more. Coupled with the possibility of Saudi Arabia eventually getting a 2nd batch means the production line will be running for a good few years with or without new export customers. It is a shame we can’t demonstrate our confidence in it by following suit and topping up our fleet with 30 or so new ones to replace the tranche 1’s and keep fast jet numbers healthy pre Tempest and without sinking too much into… Read more »


Yes, it had slipped my mind about the potential new order for the German Air Force and, of course, Saudi plus Gulf States may order new batches. However, I have not heard about any possible increase in numbers from Spain – they might opt for additional F/A-18s.With regard to the apparent lack of sales outside of Europe and the Middle East, that must be down to the poor efforts by sales teams from the four collaborating nations.

Meirion X

No chance of another order from Gulf!
Especially with new US admin.
US has a hold on BAES!


The problem is assembly will be done in German or SA. UK is close to ending fast jet production and no one has even blinked an eye. If this was shipbuilding there would be political mayhem.


I’ll add to be clear we’ll still produce part for the Germans any other orders but we ill not be making a complete aircraft. We’ve managed to go from a world leader in aircraft production to not producing a complete airframe in approx 100 years. Sad.


Can’t disagree that it’s a shame we no longer produce whole aircraft designs. BAE through a mix of disinterest and bad decisions has managed to completely withdraw from the regional and business jet markets and we’ve recently seen the Hawk production line wrap up for want of fresh orders. On the other hand if you add up the UK aviation industries manufacture of high-end components like engines/electronics as well as it’s workshare on Typhoon, F35, Airbus passenger jets and Bombardier business jets it’s still one of the largest in the world, with the prospect of Tempest bring whole aircraft manufacturing… Read more »