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Sweden to buy Super-Jas fighter jets

TT/The Local/cg · 25 Aug 2012, 11:55

Published: 25 Aug 2012 11:55 GMT+02:00

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The Armed Forces (Försvarsmakten) will be receiving 300 million kronor ($45.5 million) extra in 2013 and 2014, and 200 million kronor extra annually after that, wrote the leaders of Sweden’s four centre-right governing parties in an opinion piece in the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper (SvD).

The party leaders wrote that Sweden and Switzerland, in need of 22 aircraft, have teamed up to buy the Jas Gripen E/F, or Super-Jas.

According to the government, the new system will be up and running in Sweden from 2023 and at least 20 years after that.

The party leaders wrote that this partnership with Switzerland makes the system more cost efficient. The alternative, buying foreign aircraft, has been analyzed, but the new generation of Jas Gripen has been deemed more efficient for several reasons, they claimed.

But not everyone looks happily upon this deal.

“We have a defense which is walking on crutches, and if we force it to carry a great deal of the cost of new Jas Gripens, it’ll crash,” said the Green Party MP Peter Rådberg to news agency TT.

The total cost is still kept secret, something Rådberg is highly critical of.

“The 300 million kronor that the government is adding to next year’s budget is small change in these circumstances. We calculate that the developmental costs will be a couple of billion kronor per year, and the government has still said nothing about how to finance the defense’s other areas.”

Rådberg says that the partnership with Switzerland is no defense project, but rather a labour and industry politics project.

“If you’re buying war planes, it’s only logical to reassess the threat scenario, and discuss whether its motivated to put so much money on fighter jets, but the government isn’t talking about threats, but rather about work opportunities and Swedish export.”

The Social Democrats have said previously that a deal with another country is a prerequisite for discussing upgrading Jas Gripen.

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“We’re basically positive to this deal, which creates a base for the Swedish discussion of upgrading Swedish air defense,” said Social Democratic MP Peter Hultqvist.

He didn’t want to say whether the 300 million kronor extra would be sufficient, however.

“This is something we’ll be discussing with the government and in our party’s internal budget discussions.”

TT/The Local/cg (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:31 August 25, 2012 by Grokh
why the fan should sweden increase its military budget ?! it is the last thing the country needs or has needed in the past century ... and jetfighters ? what the hell for lol sweden is a neutral country .

Gah feels like swedish politicians are in bed with american politicians and wants to join NATO or something just stupid
18:37 August 25, 2012 by tigger007
I think it's good for Sweden to have a good military budget and if it means that Sweden needs new jets so be it.I wanna see Sweden sell it's wares and create work here in Sweden.The JAS jet is a good jet at low cost,it did well in Red Flag in 08.I wish they would use their own tech than the US tech for their JAS jets,the US can still say to Sweden you can't sell the JAS to other countries do to this fact of US tech.
18:44 August 25, 2012 by Uncle
For some reason some think that "neutral" means "weak". Mentioned Switzerland has one of the most technologically advanced armies in the world. Almost every citizen is drafted for some time in service and reminded of training once in a while throughout his life. Switzerland does everything that any nation that would like to cross this country with an armor, would think twice about it.

As long as Sweden has strong air force, good anti armor and engineering divisions, special and alpine forces, no army would ever think of rolling over it with an army for whatever reason (silent and meaningful look towards the east...)
19:42 August 25, 2012 by rise

Well, Sweden stood all alone during the whole Cold War, and I wouldn't exactly call that weakness. If Ivan would have come knocking on the door he would have gotten himself one hell of a welcome considering the lines of defence Sweden had at the time. I remember an Italian officer who in the 1980's claimed the whole of Sweden to be... "a fortress". However today's defence is nothing like what it was. It is no longer built just to hinder a Soviet invasion. There was a time when the Swedish Air Force had around a thousand aircrafts. Compare that to the order of these "40-60" new ones..! ;)
19:48 August 25, 2012 by Avidror
It's all about labour and industry politics, as Rådberg told. No army in the world is interested in invading Sweden, it's not a matter of defense, but of economy. But that's not a problem, as Rådberg seems to think. The Swedish military industry has played a role in Sweden's degree of economic, industrial and social development. Why to end this trend?
20:29 August 25, 2012 by sunnchilde
I would certainly HOPE that the Swedish government would buy the next generation Gripen. As a weapons manufacturer, if you can't get at least your own government to buy your stuff, then you are done.
20:55 August 25, 2012 by Uncle

I do not get it. I think that you just elaborated on what I said, but it looks like you are arguing with me. Strange.

Avidror, Sweden happens to stand on the way to Norway and Iceland ergo - control over the Atlantic, ergo controlling whether or not NATO gets to enjoy endless supplies from the mastodont US economy. Also, Sweden happens to be a potential graveyard for passing fleets and submarines - the main tool in control over the fore mentioned control over the Atlantic. Therefore in every soviet doctrine Sweden were submitted to the state of 0 resistance before an offensive continued. Point being - it is ALSO a matter of defense.
02:45 August 26, 2012 by rise

No, no I'm not arguing but on the contrary agreeing with what you're saying. I merely tried to elaborate my thoughts around your sentence "For some reason some think that "neutral" means "weak"."

Anyways according to what everyone can read at Wiki Sweden is no longer claiming to be neutral. However that is not the same as Sweden joining any military alliance, which Sweden has not.
09:20 August 26, 2012 by Uncle
#8 ah OK, sorry. You are completely right.

Isn't Sweden in some Nordic Battlegroup alliance? I think that it is in essence a force that is designated to take on the first strike on NATO in the north and by that making Sweden a NATO member without paying for membership and without sending troops to strange places...
14:01 August 26, 2012 by rise

Well if I am to defend what the politicians still are calling "non-alignment" I'm out on thin ice, so I'd rather not. During WWII politicians drove Sweden's name down the dirt for generations to come, so I'll leave them to to defend their own decisions.

The Nordic Battlegroup is not a NATO-force though. It is one of two forces of the European Union:


(In English)
16:12 August 26, 2012 by Avidror
@Uncle, #7.

That was during the Cold War. And even taking into account that some sort of cold war does exist still today, Russia will not invade Sweden.
18:42 August 26, 2012 by Uncle

You are right, it is not a NATO force. It is to defend northern Europe in case of attack on Europe.... So in effect it is a defense pact with NATO.

Avidror. And you are basing this assumption on what? On the rule of law in democratic Russia? On lack of military engagements in... say... Georgia? On love of every Russian towards western Europe? On the lack of economic benefits in war for a country that could not get out of economic turmoil for 20 years, like the case of USA in the 40's?
20:01 August 26, 2012 by rise

You're probably right, especially when considering many EU-countries in fact are also NATO-countries. And it's like Sweden already is standing with one foot inside of NATO and the other foot outside of it - as if Sweden wants to be one of those "in the game" while at the same time stand outside of it doing whatever the country wish for, without having to leave any commitments. Swedish politicians should learn they cannot both "eat the cake and still have it remaining". :P
20:09 August 26, 2012 by isenhand
@ Grokh

-what the hell for lol sweden is a neutral country .-

No, Sweden is non-alined, not neutral. Sweden has not been neutral since 1995.

Sweden has a commitment to defend Nordic countries as well as the EU (it heads up one EU battle group).

The direct threat to Sweden might be small but their are greater threats to other Nordic Countries and to the EU.

Upgrading the Gripen is a step in the right direction for Sweden but not at the cost of what is left of the military in Sweden. The Swedish armed forces are in an extremely poor state at the moment with out dated equipment, the wrong origination (ref. IO14), missing equipment (anti-aircraft, for example) etc. Not only doe we need an up date to Gripen but the whole military needs an update if it is to fulfill its obligations to Sweden, the Nordic Countries and the EU.

See here for example : http://oplatsen.wordpress.com/2012/08/16/forsvars-och-sakerhetspolitiskt-upprop/
09:19 August 27, 2012 by karex
Other armies aren't the only threat countries face nowadays. We traditionally think of risk of invasion by other countries. However, terrorism is reaching military proportions: they are now well-organized, well-armed armed and numerous. Not to mention organized crime who also normally have the funds to equip themselves better than the military in many countries.

Sweden has a very large coastline to patrol. The jets are a very important part of this defence. And as already mentioned in a previous post. If you need them, why go out and buy foreign-built equipment? Besides, the JAS has the best cost-benefit ratio of anything else out there.
12:38 August 27, 2012 by Avidror
@Uncle, #12.

I never told Russia is a democratic State nor it has not attacked other countries. But if even during the Cold War there was not a Soviet invasion of Sweden, what would make Russia to do so today?

Russia invaded Georgia, but Georgia is not Sweden.
13:04 August 27, 2012 by rise

"Sweden is non-alined, not neutral. Sweden has not been neutral since 1995."

Numerous times I have claimed Sweden's defense saw a huge change dating back to the joining of the EU. The defense has been turned from being defensive to offensive. This turning has led to a paradoxical situation because - as contradictory as it may be - on the way the defense has been almost completely slaughtered. At least in my eyes.

"Upgrading the Gripen is a step in the right direction for Sweden but not at the cost of what is left of the military in Sweden."

If there are any bright spots one of them would be the development of the new submarine A26. It's planned to be ready for use 2020 and with other words at the same time as the new Gripen. Already Sweden makes impressive submarines. During an exercise a couple of years ago when the US were allowed to rent one from the Swedish navy, never did they manage to find it (anybody can watch it on youtube)!
13:48 August 27, 2012 by smilingjack
the only country doing any invading these days is the USA. My understanding was that the USA insisted that all NATO countries use the same weapons etc to avoid confusion - bought from them of course and so they need wars to fight.

In the case of Australia the USA is pushing hard for more USA bases inside oz and constantly egging australia on to join the USA against the red peril.

The thing is China will never invade australia. we sold them everything already. Electricity generation and providers. Water supply. The mines the ports and the toll roads. They make up a large proportion of our population buying up top end properties propping up our real estate market.. recently they bought up millions of sqkm's of farmland. why invade - they do it via business these days.

Not surprising that sweden is spending billions on US technology ( which is outdated ) and just like in oz - everyday there is a new anti islam story in the press. the usa is the biggest manufacturer of weapons in the world - so they gotta keep the wars going.
18:44 August 27, 2012 by isenhand

-the defense has been almost completely slaughtered.-

Yes. :(

-Sweden makes impressive submarines-

yes :)

- But if even during the Cold War there was not a Soviet invasion of Sweden, what would make Russia to do so today?-

During the cold war Sweden had an army that, if not able to stop a Russian invasion, could, at least, given them such a bloody nose they would think twice. Now we have nothing that could stop an invasion. A basic rule of human behaviour; the easier a victory looks the more likely the attack.
07:41 August 28, 2012 by smilingjack
the USA just smashes its own record for arms sales in 2011. 78% of all weapons / arms sold in the world come from the states. $10 for every person on the planet.

The most violent war mongering country on the planet who survive off death and misery.

no country in the world has the money and forces to invade and hold another major country. its just impossible. the usa and nato cant even take a bunch of nomads riding donkeys after 15 years. get serious isenthand.

the money is in flogging them weapons and convincing the gullible that they better buy / upgrade what they have. se new swedish jets that will require a maintenance program and on going support and upgrades - just like windows.
08:56 August 28, 2012 by isenhand
- the usa and nato cant even take a bunch of nomads-

But then they haven't even tried! A is the worlds largest military exercises and there's more money to be made in keeping it going than ending the war. And yes you can -invade and hold another major country- if you have the will power but most wars tend not to have that as an objective. Small scale wars are more likely (we have many on going small wars now as an example) and it is such a small scale war that we could see in the next 10 years or so in Europe, especially as we see more economic problems coming our way.
12:30 August 28, 2012 by rise
During the cold war the US did not succeed in Vietnam. The Soviet Union did not succeed in Afghanistan. Neither of them would have succeeded in Sweden either. Not a chance!

Sweden's defense as of today doesn't make me that sure any longer. Far from it. However now there's this European Union... an attack against Sweden would most likely be seen as an attack against the whole of EU. But still Sweden need to have a strong defense; if Sweden isn't interested in defending itself, why would any other EU-country want to defend it? One cannot be completely naive; there will always be a new Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot or the like.

Birka dated from approximately the year of 750 is often considered as Sweden's first town. That is more than 1250 years ago. What is it that has made Sweden last for so long? One thing is for sure: it is not thanks to Svenska Freds anyways!
00:02 August 29, 2012 by Avidror
@ insenhand, #19.

Russia could also invade Moldova. But Russia didn't actually invade Moldova. Overpowering militarily a country doesn't necessarily lead to invasion.
12:46 August 29, 2012 by rise
Avidror, comparing with Moldova was a rather poor choice; Moldova WAS a part of the Soviet Union and Stalin deported people of Moldova to Siberia; before the Soviet era Moldova was a Russian province (since the beginning of the 19th century); even before that it was invaded numerous times by Tatars as well as Turks.

NO one has ever succeeded in invading Sweden nor making the country a vassal state; it has always been an independent country even though it's also been a part of different unions before today's European Union; it has lost as third of its territory over the centuries but that isn't the same thing. Always it's been that Ivan to fight (and of course the Danes)... :P
16:49 August 29, 2012 by Avidror
I wasn't trying to imply Sweden and Moldova are comparable countries. I was trying to tell that Sweden will not be invaded by Russia. They don't have motives to dos so. Nothing else.
12:13 August 30, 2012 by rise

" I was trying to tell that Sweden will not be invaded by Russia."

Fair enough. But then, what does anyone know about a potential aggressor's motives? No one has ever had the mad idea of attacking the US, especially not a small iland nation like Japan, right? After the ending of WWI everyone KNEW that at least now it would be a lasting peace! Who could ever dream of the coming WWII...

A county's defense is a necessary evil. It NEED its defense, if nothing else so just to make sure it'll keep being safe. Or has anyone erased the aggressive mind of the human, that I haven't heard of? Aggressiveness and destruction is in the human nature.
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