Finland will gain full sovereign control and comprehensive capability if it selects Eurofighter, says the man leading the Eurofighter challenge in the HX programme — the competition being run by the Finnish Defence Forces to replace the country’s existing F/A-18 fleet.

John Rossall, BAE Systems Campaign Director for the Finland HX Programme, says: “We understand that independent control and security of supply is critical for Finland’s defence capability in peacetime and in conflict. Eurofighter will provide Finland with a platform capable of performing all its specified missions.

“Our proposal recognises Finland's unique geographical and political position — ensuring Finland retains sovereign control over its combat capability, combined with strengthening European defence cooperation and ensuring full interoperability.

"Eurofighter offers full sovereign control and a comprehensive capability for Finland, wherever the mission might be.”

Eurofighter was the first aircraft to take part in the Finnish Air Force’s series of Flight Evaluation Trials, which are a key part of the ongoing HX programme.

Rossall insists that, should Finland select Eurofighter, it would ‘operate a combat-proven class-leading multi-role weapons system, which has a strong development roadmap through the second half of this century.’ 

“Eurofighter delivers sovereign capability, allowing Finland to build resilience for national requirements and providing complete freedom of action and independence of operation.

“Our proposal is about ensuring Finland has control. We will enable this through a core program relationship, an industrial partnership that will also ensure Finland has control over the development of its own military capability independently and can participate in a true partnership with the Eurofighter nations of Germany, Spain, Italy, UK. 

Rossall added that we are now in an era where ownership and control of sovereign military security and intelligence data is absolutely essential.

He said: “With Eurofighter the Finnish military will be empowered through the transfer of technology to collect, take ownership of and control their mission data. They’ll be able to use it for themselves across all domains, share it with their partners and control its access.

“Finnish industry will also be empowered through the transfer of skills and technology to perform the tasks required by them of the Finnish forces.

"They will enjoy all the access to intellectual property that the core partner companies of the Eurofighter programme enjoy and use to support their nation's military capability, including building, maintaining, enhancing and operating assets through Finnish companies by Finns, in Finland. The combination of these technologies and capability transfers will provide security of supply and true control.”