Two Swedish Gripens - a Gripen NG demonstrator 39-7, and a Gripen E (39-10), equipped with Meteor, IRIS-T and the Electronic Attack Jammer Pod, landed in Pirkkala Air Base, Finland, last week, to participate in two weeks of testing and evaluation as part of the HX challenge, reports News Now Finland.
During the two weeks of testing, the fighter candidates are also participating in simulated games that will display their capability in operating in battle scenarios as part of Finland’s defense systems.
It is important for the event to take place in Finland as the fighter jets can be tested in Finnish weather conditions for a balanced and fair evaluation. Other than the Swedish Gripens, the other fighter participants are F-35, F/A-18 Super Hornet, and Rafale.
The HX fighter procurement program was set up to replace Finland’s ageing fleet of Hornets. Saab’s proposal to the Finnish Air Force comprises of 64 Gripen aircraft, both single-seat Gripen E and dual-seat Gripen F.
According to the Finnish government, a procurement decision will be made in 2021.
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