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Sweden confirms sale of Gripen to Switzerland

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Sweden confirms sale of Gripen to Switzerland
17:01 CEST+02:00
The sale of 22 Gripen fighter jets from Sweden to Switzerland was confirmed on Tuesday for a price of more than 3 billion Swiss francs ($3.1 billion).

The first delivery will take place in mid-2018, with all 22 planes to be delivered by 2021 at a cost of 3.126 billion Swiss francs.

“The negotiations were tough,” said Christian Catrina, who represented Switzerland in the deal, according to the TT news agency.

The deal for the Gripen E/F -- or Super-Jas -- planes was officially signed on Tuesday afternoon, with Ulf Hammarström of the Swedish Defence and Security Export Agency (Försvarsexportmyndigheten - FXM) positive about the exchange.

“We are pleased with this agreement, which will be of great benefit to the countries' defence forces,” he said.

Switzerland is expected to pay a first installment in January 2014 of 300 million francs.

The move to buy the planes was hotly contested in Switzerland where the parliamentary security commission found that the "choice of jet made by the Federal Council carries the most risks: technically, commercially, financially and in respect of the delivery date", Swiss news agency ATS reported.

The members of the commission, all appointed by the Swiss parliament's National Council of representatives, nonetheless voted 16 to 9 against demanding that ministers put a halt to the deal.

Sweden intends to purchase between 40 and 60 of the jets.

The Local/AFP/og

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