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Sweden to lend Gripen fighters to Switzerland

Sweden to lend Gripen fighters to Switzerland

Published: 29 Jun 2012 16:05 GMT+02:00
Updated: 29 Jun 2012 16:05 GMT+02:00

Bern announced in November its intention to buy 22 Saab Gripen E/F fighter jets to replace its ageing US F-5 fighter fleet in an estimated 3.1 billion Swiss franc ($3.3 billion) deal.

The E/F is still under development and Sweden could loan Switzerland about 10 of the current C/D model in the meantime.

Maurer made the announcement on Friday after a two-day meeting with his Swedish counterpart Karin Enström, Swiss news agency ATS reported.

"The Ministers have stated the intentions of their Governments to jointly explore synergies regarding acquisition, programme management, testing, training, logistics, operations and future upgrades of the Gripen weapon system," reads the statement of intent signed Friday by the two ministers.

"The Ministers also declared their intention to jointly explore and bring forward proposals for increased bilateral security-oriented cooperation."

The loan would allow pilots to get trained up and avoid the costly upkeep of the F-5.

The Gripen, not available before 2020, was selected over the French Dassault Rafale and the EADS Eurofighter, sparking much debate in the Swiss parliament which has yet to give the purchase the green light.

A referendum will also likely be held on the deal.

AFP/The Local

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Your comments about this article

17:17 July 2, 2012 by sunnchilde
This is wonderful. This is Sweden saying "We'll won't just be your supplier, we'll be your partner. Use THESE for now, train your pilots and ground crews, learn the technology and when we have the new units, you'll get those." This is a big strategic win for Gripen.
11:01 July 5, 2012 by rise
Yes why not, the Swedish state did order too many of the Gripen anyway, more than the Swedish Air Force has any real use of. Around 200 Gripens... compare that to the Norwegian or Finnish air forces that have around 60 fighting aircrafts each.

Out of Sweden's order of Gripens 184 are delivered and in service. However 14 out of those are leased by the Czech Republic and another 14 leased/purchased by Hungary. That makes it 156 Gripens are still in service in Sweden. So, yes Sweden can absolutely afford to lend Switzerland a fleet.
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