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Defence deal greenlights fighter jet upgrade

Published: 15 Feb 2013 07:38 GMT+01:00

"This is an historic event for Saab," CEO Håkan Buskhe said in a statement.

"We're taking the next step, which also greatly increases our export potential for many years to come."

The agreement covers the period 2013-2026, but leaves the door open to terminate parts of the contract if the Swedish military's equipment wing (Försvarets materielverk, FMV) chooses to.

FMV has placed an initial order worth 2.5 billion kronor, reported the TT news agency. Several further orders are likely in 2013 and 2014.

If any terminations take place, Saab will have the right to certain compensatory payments.

In Sweden, Saab will modify about 60 existing Gripen C planes to convert them to be closer to the new E model.

"Our existing customers who operate the Gripen C or D will be able to benefit from the development work," Buskhe said.

Switzerland is still pondering its would-be purchase of 22 Gripen E fighter planes.

TT/The Local/at

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Your comments about this article

16:16 February 15, 2013 by skylarkpilot
Could somebody please explain why the Swedish military needs brand new fighter planes ? The former Eastern block countries no longer present a real threat and Sweden is a neutral country. Surely this money would be better spent on the failing health service !
19:01 February 15, 2013 by millionmileman
This is good news for Sweden becuse the sale to the former Easten block countries and others will bring money back to Sweden. Also the Gripen is the world's best value for money for the investment.
23:15 February 17, 2013 by Eugene jr. of Romania
Well, I can see two comments without strong substance. First as an Eastern Block country Romania never thought to attack or participate in a war against Sweden, even in the comunist period.

Second comment, even Sweden has top class products it is not very easy to sell them quick to Eastern countries, because of the political agreements and because of the lack of the advantages in return for a big deal. As romanian engineers we will think twice what are the benefits for such an investment, and the politicians will heard different than us. Grippen products need to be associated for sample with more open gates for romanian labour on your market and more strong investments creating jobs in Romania. After that we can talk about . We need to have solid incomes for the maintenance costs.
17:35 February 18, 2013 by jmclewis
@ skylarkpilot why would you put more money in a failing system. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly expecting a different result.
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