Apr 25, 2014

Finland should opt for F-35 over Gripen if the price is right, minister says

Finland should reject overtures to procure the Saab Gripen E fighter aircraft, if the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) can be acquired at a comparable cost, the country's defence minister said.
Finland should not put Nordic defence co-operation ahead of performance when choosing between the Swedish-built Gripen E and the US-built F-35, providing there is little difference in cost between the two types.
The proposal to strengthen Finland's defence ties with its Nordic neighbour Sweden through a Gripen E buy was made by the speaker of parliament, and the country was named by Saab officials in March as a potential future customer.
Finland appear to favour the F-35 as a potential replacement for the air force's current 55 Boeing F/A-18C and seven F/A-18D Hornet fighters.
Aircraft costs are notoriously difficult to nail down.
It is likely that any future Finnish fighter procurement competition would also include offerings from Boeing with its F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, Dassault with the Rafale, and Eurofighter with the Typhoon.


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