The Swedish Defence Materiel Agency FMV has placed an order with Saab for the modification of sixty Swedish Air Force JAS 39C Gripen fighters to the new Gripen E standard, as announced by Saab on Wednesday 18 December. The order is worth the equivalent of 2.6 billion USD. Initial deliveries are expected in 2018.
According to Saab, Gripen E has significant performance improvements compared to previous versions, including a stronger engine, longer range, more weapons, new electronic radar and more advanced avionics. “The order from FMV is further proof of the Swedish Parliament’s confidence in Gripen, its development potential and defence capacity. Furthermore, it is confirmation that the programme is proceeding according to plan,” says Saab’s president and CEO Håkan Buskhe.
Earlier in 2013, Saab made agreements on the development and procurement of the Gripen E. Those agreements also involve the delivery of 22 new Gripen E to Switzerland. During August and September 2013 both chambers of the Swiss Parliament voted yes to the procurement of Gripen E and a referendum on the procurement is expected in 2014.
“We continue to build on the success of Gripen. Gripen is unique in its ability to combine high technology and performance with cost efficiency and we note a strong interest for Gripen on the export market. Existing customers that operate the Gripen C/D version will also be able to take advantage of some of the development in their future upgrades”, says Lennart Sindahl, Deputy CEO and head of Saab’s business area Aeronautics.
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