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Swedish Air Force could scrap 70 planes

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11:14 CEST+02:00
Up to 70 JAS fighter planes could be scrapped if they are not able to be sold, according to a proposal submitted to the Swedish Ministry of Defence by the leader of the Swedish armed forces.

The proposal, from Supreme Commander Håkan Syrén, is attached to the 2007 military budget. He suggests that there should be around 100 operation JAS (Jakt/Attack/Spaning - Fighter/Attack/Reconnaissance) fighter planes in the Swedish Air Force.

This leaves 65-70 planes too many. If these planes, which have cost taxpayers around 20 billion kronor, cannot be sold, the proposal suggests they should be discarded.

But according to General Lieutenant Mats Nilsson, a slimming of the fleet is necessary, despite the cost.

"We need to have a proper number to be able to operate the system in the long-term from the type of organization which parliament and the government have determined," Nilsson said.

The entire JAS fighter plane program has cost Swedish taxpayers around 100 billion kronor.

A total of 204 JAS series fighter planes have been produced, both for Swedish military use and for export.

Of these, only 28 planes have been exported so far. 14 have been sold to Hungary and 14 to the Czech Republic.

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TT/The Local

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