The State Department has approved the possible sale of either the F/A-18EF Super Hornet or the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to Finland, which could net the United States at least an estimated $12.5 billion deal depending on which the European nation chooses.
Finland is in the midst of choosing a new fighter jet for its HX Fighter Program, a competition that includes the Lockheed Martin-made F-35 and the Boeing-produced Super Hornet. Both U.S. companies are up against France’s Dassault Rafale, the United Kingdom’s Eurofighter Typhoon and Sweden’s Saab Gripen E/F.
The F-35 deal would include 64 F-35As and related equipment, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a statement on Friday.
The Super Hornet agreement, meanwhile, is valued at an estimated $14.7 billion and includes 50 single-seat F/A-18E jets, eight of the double-seated variant and another 14 Growlers, the electronic attack version of the jet.
Both deals also include the aircrafts’ associated munitions.
Congress was notified of the possible agreements on Friday.
After the Friday announcement, Finland’s Ministry of Defence released a statement noting that negotiations with all competitors are still ongoing and no decision has been made.
“The announcement of the notification procedure does not constitute a procurement decision by Finland, as the decision to procure multi-role fighters will be made by the Government in 2021,” according to the statement.
“Furthermore, the types and quantities of multi-role fighters and weapons specified in the notification do not represent the final content of the Finnish procurement package; instead, the list published by the DSCA indicates those items and quantities that the U.S. administration is prepared to sell at this stage of the procurement process.”
The company Finland chooses will build a possible 64 fighter jets to replace the country’s Boeing F/A-18C/D Hornets, set to be retired by 2030.