The Finnish challenge accepted!
In harsh winter conditions Gripen E landed in Finland on Wednesday this week, followed by another one on Friday. The aircraft are participating in the Finnish HX fighter procurement programme's flight evaluations together with GlobalEye as we speak.
The HX Challenge is the Finnish Air Force's testing and evaluation event. It is part of the capability assessment in the on-going procurement of new fighter aircraft to equip the Finnish Air Force. Except for evaluating each fighter’s capabilities, the Finnish Air Force will also be assessing the fighters’ ability to upgrade as well as adapt to future technologies and threats.
Gripen 39-7 landing at Pirkkala Air Base.
The overall purpose of the HX Challenge is to verify the data reported by the fighter manufacturers under Finnish conditions and through tests designed in Finland. The hub of the event is Pirkkala Air Base, but evaluation flights will take place all across Finland.
In connection to the flight evaluations, Saab had a Media Day hosted by the Finnish Air Force at the air base. The event gathered huge interest both from Finnish and international media. As many as 50 journalists participated in the two-hour-long brief about Saab’s HX offer to Finland and the state-of-the-art capabilities of Gripen E/F and GlobalEye, which is included in the offer for Finland.
Gripen E (39-10) was equipped with Meteor, IRIS-T and the Electronic Attack Jammer Pod.
While the media brief was ongoing, GlobalEye was conducting its evaluation flight over the Finnish air space.
The evaluation will continue during next week. According to the Finnish customer, a procurement decision in the HX Programme is anticipated in 2021.