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'Sweden needs 60-80 new fighter jets': military

The Local/AFP · 1 Mar 2012, 06:41

Published: 01 Mar 2012 06:41 GMT+01:00

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"The capability upgrade of the fighter jet system should begin in 2020 and is calculated to take 10 years," the military said in a statement, adding that "Sweden needs at least 60 to 80 planes."

"The upgrade of JAS Gripen is necessary to ensure that the fighter jet system is operatively relevant and that our air defence in the long run can stand up compared to the world around us," it added.

Swedish defence and aerospace group Saab's JAS 39 Gripen planes already make up the Scandinavian country's fighter jet fleet, but the air force wants an upgraded version with a bigger hull and more powerful engine, according to the military.

"This will allow room for more weapons and more fuel, which in turn leads to higher efficiency and durability," it said in the statement, adding that a better "radar and an improved alert- and counter-action system" were also on its wish list.

General Sverker Göranson said it was too early to reveal the expected cost of the upgrade, although he told a news conference it would be "very expensive."

Story continues below…

Swedish media hinted the price tag could be around 30 billion kronor ($4.5 billion).

The military said it's aim was to carry out the upgrades and split the cost with "at least one other strategic partner country," but did not reveal which countries it was considering.

The Local/AFP (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:45 March 1, 2012 by isenhand
The Swedish military needs more than just an upgrade to their aircraft. The land forces have a serious need of new combat vehicles as well. I suspect that with the current miss management of the defence of this country and the economy they wont get what they need.
09:57 March 1, 2012 by zooeden
Build them and buy them then!!!
12:46 March 1, 2012 by Grokh
sweden needs aircraft for what? all the ilegal stuff comes through land and sea...
12:57 March 1, 2012 by mcarroll1
The Swedish Airforce recently deployed very rapidly to the Libya mission with Saab Gripen fighters and was the only element of the Nordic Battlegroup to do so. Having these fighters allows Sweden to participate in missions at sort notice and projects a very positive image of Sweden. The Gripen does need an upgrade in terms of increased endurance and time over target where bases are often far removed from the front line.
13:42 March 1, 2012 by Jes
Is this a prolem of English or is the Local trying to fool its readers ?

UPGRADING is not the same as NEW
15:34 March 1, 2012 by millionmileman
It means upgrading the Air force from the first generation of single seat Gripens to the lastest NG 2 seat Gripen, with is a much improved version all round.
18:20 March 1, 2012 by sunnchilde
I know this is a national pride issue, but I think that what Sweden should do is seriously ask itself if it can compete against foreign fighter makers. CAN Saab Gripen actually compete successfully against American and Russian fighters? What I mean is, if put in actual combat head-to-head against the F-18, F-35 or the MiG-29, WILL IT WIN?

Because if it can not win, then Sweden should exit the fighter manufacturing industry and buy the better fighter from someone who can make it better than you. The bottom line is this, if you cannot win against foreign fighters, then it will be better for Sweden if they buy a fighter that will win. This is not about national pride. This should be about the safety of Sweden. Period. If you cannot beat them, then join them. Stow your pride and do what is best for the defense of Sweden.
19:21 March 1, 2012 by swedejane
It can't compete against the F-35, but it doesn't need to. The US, and always will be, an ally to Sweden. I would say that, in capable hands, it should have an advantage over the MiG-29.
20:40 March 1, 2012 by bells on the knight
having had access to the gripen data it can easily outmaneuver most fighter except perhaps f35 due to what is called alpha acceleration.

now, one has to ask oneself if there is a need to buy a RR to travel from a-b when the job is also done with a volvo, paying 10 times as ouch.
13:20 March 2, 2012 by Polish-Finnish Swede
Yes it can win, the main issues on the export market have been range, endurance and payload. The agility, radar and weapon systemt are good but must of course be upgraded over time. We are talking beyond 2020. It is an excellent choice for smaller states where the Gripen would take off and intercept incoming agressors (then quickly land refuel/reload and take off again). Poor choice if you want to "invade" another country (more range and payload required). have no idea why India would even consider the Gripen, but excellent choice for the Swiss. The new NG version would make it more "exportable" with increased range and payload and new generation of radar.
16:26 March 2, 2012 by Scott McCoy
Sweden couldnt fight its way out of a paper sack,so why waste the money on a military that dosent exist.
17:48 March 2, 2012 by sunnchilde
All I'm saying is that Sweden does not have the luxury of not having an effective military like, say, Canada does. Canada is isolated on both sides by water and no one could touch Canada because the US wouldn't allow it. Sweden doesn't have this buffer. If Russia became belligerent again, the first thing they would do is roll tanks (with air support) into neighboring countries that are near their border. Sweden is one of these countries. You need to have an effective military, you need to have the best weapons and you need to be able to hold out for at least several weeks until NATO could mobilize an offensive force.

Secondly, SAAB either needs to make a better fighter, or they need to hire new people who can make a better fighter. Go find the best people in the world and bring them to Sweden. Offer them free houses, free cars, free Swedish girlfriends. I don't care. Just make it happen.
23:42 March 2, 2012 by Augusto Aldeghi
Sweden is doing the right thing.

1) being able to build an advanced fighter makes you to the club of the world technology elite.

2)Spinoffs are always so many and so relevant that those alone justify the effort.

3) keep your skilled workers in Sweden and don't let them be fired to delocalize to China.

4) Money is not an issue till the kroner is alive, don't let it go!
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