Sweden is considering to add more operational years to its Gripen C/D aircraft which will lead to an increase in the size of the future fleet of the fighter, reports Flight Global. “If Sweden continues to fly Gripen C/D even after 2025-2026, maybe till 2035, it will be good for our system, because we can simultaneously share the development between Gripen C/D and Gripen E/F,” says Saab Chief Executive Hakan Buskhe.
The Swedish Air Force (SwAF) currently operates a fleet of 100 Gripen fighters and is under a contract to procure 60 Gripen E-series fighters with operations expected to begin by 2023. Last year, Sweden revised its Gripen E contract to acquire new equipment for the development of their Gripen E fighters rather than re-using certain parts from their existing Gripen C/D aircraft. This assures availability of Gripen C/D fleet for operational service till the new Gripen E/F aircraft are delivered to the Swedish Air Force (SwAF). According to Flight Global, confirmation of the decision to add more operational years may happen on 14 May when Sweden publishes its next long-term defence bill. “This is great news for us as a company, because it means there will be more Gripen aircraft flying,” says Buskhe.
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