Sweden will buy its planned 60 JAS 39E Gripen fighters brand new and not, like previously planned, by using large parts of the current active Gripen C model, reports Swedish public radio (SR) on Saterday 5 April 2014.
According to the radio news service the Swedish Air Force is afraid it will not have enough active combat jets left when the current airplanes will cut in peaces to use parts for aircraft which will be leased to Brazil and possibly Switzerland ahead of their new Gripen E fighter aircraft.
Wednesday 9 April the current centre-right government will present its Spring budget plans, which includes proposals to build most of the new Gripen E for the Swedish Air Force brand new. It will mean an increase in costs, but that might be leveled of somewhat when later some parts – like the fuel system and canopy – could be reused as spare parts for the Gripen E.
Busy Gripen week
It has been a busy Gripen week, with the official confirmation on Friday of the first apparently successful flight of the new sensor and tracking system on the Gripen Next Generation test aircraft, and the wish of the Sweden Defence Minister to increase the number of future Gripen E planes for the Swedish Air Force from 60 to 70. Ahead of the official publications of the Spring budget proposals no one inside the Swedish Defence Forces wants to comment officially about the plans.
Source: Sveriges Radio/EKOT with additional reporting by AIRheads’ Marcel Burger