Proposed Swedish Defence Budget Focuses On Gripen

According to Sweden's recent report on the spending and equipment priorities for the year 2021-2025, six fighter squadrons will be maintained through 2025 and Gripen C/D fleet will act as "the core of the fighter aircraft system" of the Swedish Air Force, reports Flight Global.

The white paper which was released by Sweden’s defence committee on 14 May, also mentions that the Gripen C/D will be an important part of the organization even beyond 2030. According to FlightGlobal, Håkan Buskhe, President and CEO at Saab, recently indicated the same, saying this will ensure the Air Force keeps a fighter strength of 100 aircraft.

The report adds that a lot of focus will be on strengthening air defence capabilities of Sweden by acquiring air-launched cruise missiles and additional air-to-air missiles.

Gripen was declared operational with the Swedish Air Force in 1997.  Sweden placed an order for 60 Gripen E fighters in 2013. As per the initial contract, certain equipment from the existing SwAF Gripen C/D fleet were to be reused. The contract was later changed and it was decided that new equipment will be acquired for a part of the order.

“During the next defence bill period, the development of the next generation fighter aircraft will commence. (This) will replace Gripen C towards the end of the 2030s,” the report says.

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