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Swedish Gripen planes headed to Libya

AFP/The Local · 2 Apr 2011, 13:23

Published: 02 Apr 2011 09:07 GMT+02:00
Updated: 02 Apr 2011 13:23 GMT+02:00

The three JAS Gripen fighters, of a total nine aircraft pledged by Sweden,

took off at 10.00am from the Ronneby base on Sweden's southern

coast, army spokesman Rickard Wissman told AFP.

Another five Gripens and a C-130 Hercules usable for mid-air refueling were

to leave early Sunday, he said.

“Those that come first can in principal start to work already on Sunday, but it's up to NATO to decide when that will happen," Wissman told news agency TT

The deployment, decided Tuesday by the Swedish government, won

parliamentary approval on Friday.

Sweden's role will be limited to enforcing the no-fly zone over Libya and

will not involve any ground strikes as demanded by the left-wing opposition.

The mission involving some 130 support troops will fly under NATO command

and last three months at most. Wissman said Sweden would also provide "reconnaissance means" in a form to be decided.

Sweden is not a member of NATO, although it has been in NATO's

Partnership for Peace programme since 1994 and has contributed some 500 troops to the alliance's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) force in


Sweden also took part in operations in Kosovo.

Nevertheless Sweden's air force has not been involved in action since it

Story continues below…

took part in a UN-mandated operation in the then Belgian Congo from 1961-63.

The Libyan operation will be the first combat tour for the JAS Gripen 39,

produced by the Swedish defence group Saab.

Sweden's Nordic neighbours Denmark and Norway are already taking part in

Libyan air operations.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

10:41 April 2, 2011 by rybo1
Shame on my adopted country for fiddling in harmful alliances.
11:10 April 2, 2011 by matona1
good job at last but it was a little bit late
11:11 April 2, 2011 by IntricateMind
@ matona1 - I agree but better later then never I suppose. Bravo for Sweden!

@ rybo1 - dont be such a coward!
11:44 April 2, 2011 by truthworthy
How about a no-fly zone and a resolution with all necessary measures for the people of Ivory coast where 800 is dead in just one day. how about the same resolution for the people of Somalia who have endured deaths for 20 years. Or are black Africans worthless? or is it about the oil?

this is far from humanitarian mission.
12:34 April 2, 2011 by johnny1939
I wonder if Swedish pilots will be flying the planes or are they just being loaned to NATO along w/ maintenance people? It makes a difference in my book.
13:01 April 2, 2011 by theibmsstate2000
to kill innocent people since 1 week in every newspapers

swedish jets are ready ready ready to kill humans in libya.

Human made all these military stuff for human destruction.

i hope one day there will be peace in this world when all the world will be destroy and no human will be exists in this world. humans give pain to this world.

every human born on same way but language and color and religion make differences in the humans.one religion want why ur not christian or jew.which countries are in the power by the technology and which countries will be in power after 30 years. as muslims were in power on SPAIN 1500years so this up and down always comes in different nation.the time change .every nation has specific time then time goes to other nation.
13:02 April 2, 2011 by Nemesis
The sooner Swedish jets start dropping bombs on Gadaffis forces, the better.

It is long overdue that Sweden started to stand alongside its neighbours instead of hiding behind semantics and lies.
13:19 April 2, 2011 by Rick Methven

The only pilots trained to fly JAS are Swedes or South Africans, so I do not think any NATO pilots will be taking a 6 month course in flying them before they are used
13:44 April 2, 2011 by Rolf100
Is this an attempt to sell Gripen's? Since the sales success rate is not stellar: is this an attempt to make this fighter jet look viable so others will buy it?
14:15 April 2, 2011 by Nemesis
@ Rolf100,

If this increases sales of Grippen, then that is a good thing.

Sales of Grippen will keep jobs in Europe.
14:53 April 2, 2011 by rise
@ johnny1939

"I wonder if Swedish pilots will be flying the planes or are they just being loaned to NATO along w/ maintenance people? It makes a difference in my book."

ehm, fly an aircraft that's completely unfamiliar to the NATO pilots!? I don't think I'm going to rely to much in that book of yours... :-P
15:48 April 2, 2011 by millionmileman
Don't forget Czech and Hungarian Pilots are also in NATO and they also fly Gripens.

This will also be a Résumé enhancer for the huge fighter sales battle looming over Brazil. The French Rafale and US F-18 Hornet are also in the bidding. Only the Gripen is untested but extremely capably.

Brazil WILL buy one of them. It might as well be the Saab Gripen.
15:58 April 2, 2011 by Bostonexpat
Since the Libyan Air Force is destroyed and the Gripen won't participate in ground strikes, this is purely an expensive commercial for the Gripen
16:28 April 2, 2011 by Gabin
Free Lybia.-.
16:59 April 2, 2011 by muscle
by the way , just wondering... will these pilots require VISA permit to fly in libya and atack ?:P
16:59 April 2, 2011 by Avidror
Well done, Sweden. You never were truly netral, so why to pretend you are? And of course the Gripens should bomb al-Gaddafi's troops on the ground.

@ Rick Methven

Czechs and Hungarians also use JAS 39s.

@ Bostonexpat

Well, maybe one of the reasons Sweden will participate is to pursue clients for the JAS 39.
17:33 April 2, 2011 by Swedesmith
They should fly in with the Swedish Bikini Team. If you're going to do a commercial, do it right!
19:26 April 2, 2011 by theibmsstate2000
this is for a time being success not for a long term.
19:31 April 2, 2011 by IntricateMind
@ Avidror - You said it bro! Why pretend all these years....its only caused problems. Time to step up and kick some ass. And time to kick ass within the country itself! I mean c mon! You have Idiot terrorists trying to blow themselves up in downtown Stockholm now!

@ Swedesmith - Hell yeah bro!!
19:43 April 2, 2011 by rise
"Don't forget Czech and Hungarian Pilots are also in NATO and they also fly Gripens."

Yes and who do you all think teaches them to operate the JAS 39? The seller, Sweden, of course.
22:37 April 2, 2011 by theibmsstate2000

Your mental is very low.

this sentence is enough for you if your much clever you will understand the meaning of that sentence.

dont forget that time 1500 years were in power in Spain. dont shake ur ass.

oil is important in this world..... without oil you cannt do nothing.

do you know that story that the man cut the duck to take all the gold eggs on one time.your that man.lol
02:11 April 3, 2011 by Lon Ernwall
I am a SWEDISH American I think the SWEDES need to find their VIKING roots and give the problem people of the world a littlle VIKING USTUS!!!!!
07:18 April 3, 2011 by Decedo
Nothing like a pseudo-war close to your sales target groups to showcase your stuff. Thank god the Swedes helped the US in that Assange fiasco, and thus the Americans allowing them to 'show off' their jets.
09:12 April 3, 2011 by Haubits77B
Why do you guys use the Swedish name - the English name is "Griffin".......

And, also Thailand uses the Griffin fighter!
10:20 April 3, 2011 by Pongy
I hope they crash and burn. A good military pilot is a .... military pilot.
10:44 April 3, 2011 by Haubits77B
So "Pongy", do you like African dictators killing theire own people?
22:59 April 4, 2011 by Boyfriend
Nice advertisement for Swedish Gripen planes!
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