Yankee visitors landed at Tampere-Pirkkala Airport, escorted by two Finnish Air Force Hornets. It was preceded by a handsome overflight of a group of five fighters.
The video above shows how the fighters landed at Tampere-Pirkkala Airport.
Somewhat surprisingly, the mysterious and irreplaceable Growler (Boeing E-18 G Growler) is included in Boeing's offer to the Finnish Air Force. Previously, Growlers were sold only to the Australian Air Force.
Growlers are a real asset to Boeing. They make the Super Hornets a very interesting candidate to replace Finland's current Hornet fleet.
The reason is simple: Growler is now seen by the United States Air Force as an absolutely necessary machine.
No US fighter will go to heaven in warfare unless Growler's superior electronic support for enemy anti-aircraft, fighter, or radar operations is available.
Growler has two seats. It is almost identical in appearance to the two-seat Super Hornet (F). One hallmark is the radars at the tip of its wings, which are slightly wider than the devices at the tip of other Super Hornet wings.
Growler's armament is considerably lighter than the standard model.
It is entirely speculated how many Growlers and how many basic models would be included in a possible order for this machine type in Finland.
It's up to the seller to come up with a concept that will replace the defenses of today's Hornets in Finland. And it is up to the buyer to accept, correct or reject it.
Age and the Boeing crisis weigh heavily
The Boeing F / A-18 E / F Super Hornet is a development version of the current Finnish Hornet (F-18). This is seen as its strength in bidding, since the configuration, maintenance and training of aircraft types are familiar to the armed forces.
The Super Hornet has been upgraded to a qualified fourth-generation multi-purpose fighter, but its weakness is already perceived as being of high age. Finland seeks a modern fighter jet and a weapons system that will maintain its defenses in the 2060s. The question is, is Growler enough to make up for the shortcomings of the basic models?
The big downside to the nomination for Super Hornet is two devastating accidents on its maker, the Boeing 737 MAX.
It is clear that the future of fighter jets is uncertain if their manufacturer is in financial distress.
This is a serious risk for Boeing, as the type of crisis aircraft has caused it huge losses. The company's own estimate of the cost of the 737 MAX scandal is already close to $ 20 billion.
The evaluation round ends here
The HX Challenge testing center organized by the Air Force is the focal point of the Pirkkala base of Satakunta Airport. There is a wide range of aviation activities, as we want to find out how candidates can cope with their diverse tasks in challenging winter conditions, using the standards set by the Finns.
It is the largest and most expensive weapon acquisition in Finnish history, replacing 64 of today's Hornet's air defense capabilities. The number of fighters is not predetermined, but it is up to the bidders to indicate the number of aircraft and weapons to replace the air defense created by the Finnish Hornets.
The acquisition ceiling has been raised to EUR 10 billion.
At that price you have to get the best quality in the world. So now it's time to see how well the salesmen's promises are coming true.
The pan-European Eurofighter was first tested. Then the French Rafale, the Swedish Gripen and the US F-35. This week it is the turn of the last fighter candidate, US Super Hornet, to try to convince the Finns of their performance.
In the next step, experts from the Finnish Defense Administration will analyze the huge amount of data resulting from the test flights and continue to evaluate HX bidders through simulated flight missions and virtual war games.
The Defense Forces rank list will be completed later this year. The Government will decide next year on the next fighter type in Finland.