Home Air Final contender starts Finnish Air Force’s HX fighter challenge

Final contender starts Finnish Air Force’s HX fighter challenge

Super Hornet
Illustration; US Air Force file photo of a Super Hornet aircraft

The final aircraft to be offered to Finland as part of the country’s HX fighter procurement program have arrived at the Pirkkala Air Base for two weeks of testing.

Boeing’s two Super Hornet jets and a Growler electronic warfare variant started evaluation flights with their arrival on February 18.

Super Hornets are the final aircraft type to be evaluated by the Finnish Air Force, which previously tested the Eurofighter aircraft, Swedish Gripen E (39-10) aircraft, France’s Rafale and Lockheed Martin’s F-35.

The HX Challenge is the first stage of the capability assessment. The next stage will make use of the data and performance values established during the HX Challenge. As outlined by the Finnish defense ministry, the third phase will demonstrate the operational efficiency of each candidate’s comprehensive HX solution by playing and simulating a long-term war game.

All testing phases are to be completed by 2021, when the country is expected to select the preferred bidder.