Sweden has suspended the transfer of Gripen fighters to Ukraine


Sweden has suspended plans to provide Ukraine with Gripen fighter jets to focus first on the supply of F-16s.

This was reported by Reuters with reference to the Belgian agency TT.

"The coalition countries that plan to provide Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets have urged us to wait with the Saab JAS 39 Gripen," Swedish Defense Minister Paul Jonsson said. According to him, the priority is now the integration of the F-16 into the Air Force of the Armed Forces, however, he does not rule out that the supply of Gripen may become relevant again later.

Paul Jonson added that the Gripen delivery currently does not correspond to the coalitionʼs views on the introduction of two fighter aircraft systems at the same time.

More about Gripen fighters

The cost of one Gripen fighter is from $30-60 million, depending on the configuration and terms of delivery. Gripen is positioned as the cheapest fighter of generation 4+ (classification of the most modern jet fighters). The price varies depending on the level of modernization.

If you compare the F-16 and Gripen, they have almost the same range. Few Gripen aircraft were produced, less than 250 units are currently in service with the countries. These fighters are used in Sweden, Slovakia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Malaysia, Thailand, South Africa and Brazil. The number of aircraft in service in these countries is relatively small, 13-15 units.

At the same time, the Gripen JAS 39 has an important advantage over the F-16 — unpretentiousness to runways and ease of in-flight maintenance. According to the doctrine of the Swedish Air Force, in the event of a war, aircraft must disperse and be based even on highways, which is relevant in Ukrainian conditions.

In addition, the JAS 39 Gripen has one of the cheapest flight hour costs among fighters, which is important for Ukraine. The cost of a flight hour for the JAS 39C/D version is $7-8 thousand, and for the JAS 39E/F version, according to unconfirmed data, only $4 thousand. For comparison, a flight hour for the F-16 costs about $7-8 thousand, and for the F/A-18 — generally $12-18 thousand.

Author: Honcharova Stanislava