Sweden-based defense and security company Saab submitted its Best and Final Offer (BAFO) to the Finnish defense procurement agency for the Finnish HX fighter procurement.
According to a company news release, the proposal comprises 64 Gripen E fighter aircraft and an extensive weapons package, and two GlobalEye Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) aircraft. This constitutes the response to the customer’s January 2021 request for a BAFO. Finland is replacing the capability provided by its current fleet of F/A-18 C/D Hornet aircraft.
The proposed solution features the latest cutting-edge technology for the continuously changing and very challenging operational environment. Gripen is built to defeat the threats of our region and responds very well to the customer’s requirements. It is furthermore designed for road-base operations in a harsh climate and to enable easy maintenance by conscript mechanics. The offering includes some of the most advanced weapons, such as the Meteor for air targets at medium to long distance, the IRIS-T for air targets at short distance, SPEAR for ground targets at medium distance and the KEPD350/Taurus for long-range strike missions against ground targets.
GlobalEye brings unique additional sensor capabilities – for joint operations with Gripen as well as providing benefits for the entire Finnish defence forces. As a strategic asset, GlobalEye will serve across the entire operational spectrum, providing vital information for Finland. The combined effect of Gripen and GlobalEye will be very powerful.
“With Gripen’s outstanding capabilities and availability, Finland can renew its fighter fleet without compromising on the number of fighters. Thanks to a truly competitive life-cycle cost, the Finnish Defence Forces will be able to stay within the budgetary targets, and even secure a margin for other vital defence capabilities over the years to come,” says Micael Johansson, President and CEO of Saab.
“With GlobalEye, we bring significant additional sensor capabilities that will provide strategic and real-time information to Gripen and the entire joint defence forces. We are happy to include GlobalEye as the world´s most advanced AEW&C platform,” Johansson continues.
The proposal also comprises the necessary equipment and associated services needed for operating the system through an extensive industrial co-operation programme, with the aim to build national capabilities in Finland for Security of Supply. This includes transfer to local industry of maintenance, repair and overhaul capabilities, parts production, as well as final assembly of engines and aircraft. Saab will also establish a Gripen & GlobalEye System Centre in Finland, to ensure independent operations and continuous capability growth of the systems until 2060.
According to the customer’s planning, a procurement decision is foreseen late 2021.
Finland is an important market for Saab. The company has a long history in the country and is constantly expanding its activities and establishing partnerships with local industry and academia. More recently Saab has initiated extensive research co-operation with the Aalto University, established a Technology Centre in Tampere, currently employing over 50 engineers, and has extensive co-operation with the research institute VTT and several Finnish defence companies.