Eurofighter say it has offered Finland the chance to join Europe’s largest combat aircraft programme in an updated proposal to the HX fighter acquisition programme.

The proposal has been submitted by the UK Government with the support of the Governments of Germany, Italy and Spain, the nations which are represented in the Eurofighter industry consortium. It offers Finland sovereign control of its defence capability and security of supply as well as a combat proven, swing-role aircraft which will form the backbone of European defence for decades to come.

The detailed proposal updates on the original offer made to the HX fighter acquisition programme to replace the Finnish Air Force’s F-18 Hornet aircraft.

John Rossall, Campaign Director at BAE Systems which is working alongside the UK Government on the offer to Finland, said:

“We are delighted to present our updated proposal to Finland on behalf of the Eurofighter consortium. Our proposal is an invitation to Finland to join leading nations in Europe with a shared defence objective. By choosing Eurofighter, the Finnish Air Force would not only be acquiring the most advanced, multi-role aircraft on the market, it would be choosing everything Finland needs to operate, maintain and control its own aircraft in peacetime and in times of crisis.”

In January, Eurofighter took part in the HX Challenge Flight Evaluation Trials, led by the Finnish Defence Forces in Tampere.

The trials saw two Royal Air Force jets perform over a five-day period to demonstrate many of the capabilities which form the offering of the Eurofighter consortium, which teams BAE Systems alongside leading European defence contractors Airbus and Leonardo.

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How many are they looking to procure ?

John P

Apparently they are being very strict about a cost limit of 11.1 Billion Dollars, so it would be how many aircraft and associated weapons they can get for that amount.


WikiP say they currently have 62 F18s, so potentially up to that.


I really don’t get why they used two Tranche 3 RAF Typhoons for the Finnish trial. Ok, they have completed Protect Centurion, but they are hardly to the latest Typhoon standard. If you want to sell a product, surely you want show off the latest and greatest, i.e. the same specification that Kuwait are now getting?

Paul T

Yes you would think that Airbus would really pull the stops out to get a sale,id hazard a guess that although the Kuwaiti Typhoons are currently being Manufactured they aren’t in a position to provide any for this sales demo.I think BAE has a Demonstrator which could be used but I’m not sure what spec that one is.Also it may have been essential for Two Aircraft to be provided whence using the RAF for the job was the best option.

Peter Shaw

I don’t understand why the UK depenses with some of the older tranche’s of Eurofighter and have the newer ones replace them. The UK could sell the older airframes to say Eastern Europe and South America at knock down prices. This would enable BAe to produce new airframes with the latest technologies for the RAF and keep open production lines for when Tempest is available. It would be very cost effective. I wish the UK defence journal would advocate such a strategy and articulate it to UK government.


I think its because the residual value of those (tranche 1 ) aircraft would be pretty low and NOT go very far to covering the cost of new tranche 4 (or 3b.) Perhaps if they reduce the commitment to F35B that may free up funds for new Typhoon. Also, the cost of flying Typhoon may make it too expensive for your target market when they can buy cheaper F16….

Steve R

Lack of money, really.

I’m sure the RAF would love to buy new Tranche 3s to replace the older Tranche 1s but there just isn’t the funding for it.

If it were up to me I’d be replacing old with new and looking to expand the Typhoon fleet. 2 x QRA squadrons, 5 x strike 1 x maritime strike and 1-2 ECR squadrons. I’d need to somehow become Chancellor and defence minister at the same time, however. Ain’t going to happen sadly.


You have my vote sir!

Steve R

One down, if i can get another 40 million to vote for me in 2025 I’ll get defence spending up to 3% of GDP.

Start off with a review titled: “SDSR 2025: Forces Want, Forces Get!”


I’d support a 3% defence budget !


I support a defence budget with all the stuff that Osborne and Hammond stuffed into it removed from pensions and the Vanguard replacement and the running costs of MI5,MI6 and GCHQ.
Then we would have a defence budget of 2% and not a padded one .
Trust me the CIA ,NIA and FBI are not funded from the us defense budget .

Daniele Mandelli

Hi Andy. Where has it been written, and confirmed that the SIA “Single Intelligence Account” that pays for the Security Service, the Secret Intelligence Service, and GCHQ now comes from the MoD budget? None are MoD departments, though all three, GCHQ especially, benefit from MoD support. I’m aware of the pensions and other stuff put in it, no longer sure on Successor though as our Joe 16 is adamant it was always included, which now makes me doubt what I believed previously. And who are the NIA? Not heard of them. Do you mean NSA, or the NRO? If so… Read more »


The replacement costs for the nuclear deterrent subs has always been paid out treasury special funds , the running costs of the deterrent comes from the mod budget and has since 1998 . My point is we don’t actually spend 2% on defence if you remove everything that Osborne and Hammond stuffed into it we actually spend 1.6% . So the headline figure of 45 billion is wrong we actually spend 35.5 billion on the 3 services and 2 billion of that goes on maintaining the Vanguard fleet . So that leaves 33.5 billion to fund defence and that is… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

I quite agree Andy.

2 % is meant to be a minimum too, yet HMG treat it as some sort of panacea.

“The replacement costs for the nuclear deterrent subs has always been paid out treasury special funds , the running costs of the deterrent comes from the mod budget and has since 1998”

That was my understanding too. If Joe reads this he may wade in though.


Osborne shoved the replacement costs of the Vanguard fleet into the defence budget plus pensions and the intelligence services.
We need to remove those costs and steadily increase the budget to 3.5% so we make serving in the forces a career path again.
We are a maritime nation we need a fleet of between 35 and 50 frigates and destroyers, + other vessels a army of around 150,000 and a airforce capable of home defence and being deployed.
At the moment if the crap hit the fan there is nothing in the locker to wipe your face.

Daniele Mandelli

Morning Andy. Yes, I agree, the forces are now far too small. Just questioning your continued assertion that the SIA is within the MoD budget. I would like to see evidence of it. I only recall a newspaper report in 2010 on Osborne’s creative accounting that mentioned intelligence. And most newspaper reporters won’t know the DIS from the SIS. The only things I’m aware of included ( historically, I’m talking 1990’s ) were MI5’s phone bills, which were paid by the MoD, and certain sites used, including Fort Monkton, and the running costs of other MoD assets like aircraft. It… Read more »


I got the in information from the IFS investigation into UK defence spending.
As of 2019 pension costs are 2.2 billion
Dreadnought 2.4 billion
SIS 4.6 billion
Core budget 38.1 billion

Government claimed defence spending was 47.3 billion 2019 or 2.35% of GDP

Actual spending as per Nato figures is 38.1 billion or 1.8% of GDP .

Smoke and mirrors
The reality is that defence spending is lower than 2010 before Osborne padded the figures by including the first 3 items .

Robert blay

If it was that simple Peter they would do it, but it isn’t. Brand new Typhoons are very expensive, and no guarantee we can sell on the tranche 1’s.


There was a proposal to confine the Tranche 1 purely to air interception role and get more tranche 3, no money for it however, and im sure BAE have made a case for keeping the production lines open…


This was proposed to Malaysia but did not seem to be very popular then the RAF found the budget to keep two more squadrons flying and tranche 1 was retained. The UK has plenty of Typhoons now, every bit of the budget for new aircraft must go to F35 procurement. Failure to acquire a sufficiently large F35 fleet hampers the UK’s carrier program and causes major damage in US relations and leaves the RAF without the key weapons platform of the 21st Century.


The fiasco of Austrian Tranche 1 operations has been widely noticed, and their small fleet, badly funded, is what the sale of second RAF aircraft would represent to those nations that might be tempted. It really hampers sales!


Is Finland still limited by the post ww2 treaty with the then USSR ?

Daniele Mandelli

Good question?


It ended in 1992, they were already negotiating The successor with Russia when the USSR collapsed which frees them of all the obligations of the previous treaty but guarantees protection for Russian cultural identity in Finland.


Finland is the Country for me…


Thanks – I wondered if that might be the case.


“By choosing Eurofighter, the Finnish Air Force would not only be acquiring the most advanced, multi-role aircraft on the market, it would be choosing everything Finland needs to operate, maintain and control its own aircraft in peacetime and in times of crisis”
Looks like Airbus is offering a complete maintenance training package with knowledge transfer. Anyone know who maintains their F-18s.


Given that the Eurofighter has not won a competitive tender recently perhaps these should be offered to Finland at cost or even subsidised. The UK Typhoon assembly line desperately needs the orders otherwise it will close in 3 years. Surely the cost of reopening the lines would be prohibitive and once closed UK could be out of the fast jet market for good unless there’s significant reinvestment to reopen production. With Germany placing more Typhoon orders they will seal any future exports and it wouldn’t be beyond possibility that they could build future UK Typhoons being the only assembly line… Read more »