A single-seat F/A-18E, a twin-seat F/A-18F and an EA-18G arrived at Tampere-Pirkkala Airbase for Boeing's HX Challenge evaluation. Finland is also considering Dassault's Rafale, the Eurofighter Typhoon, Lockheed Martin's F-35A and Saab's Gripen E as its future fighter aircraft as part of the HX program. According to the Finnish Defense Ministry, Finland's fighter fleet currently consists of Hornets that were commissioned between 1995 and are expected to complete their service life in 2030. "Extending the service life of the Hornet fleet would be neither a cost-effective solution nor sufficient in terms of Finland's defense," said the Defense Ministry's statement on the program upgrade. "The Hornets' service life cannot be extended as it is limited by the aircraft's weakening comparative capabilities and structural fatigue."
- UPI -