Sweden confirms Gripen purchase
It’s all good for the Gripen as Sweden announced recently through Swedish Minster of Defence Karin Enström that Sweden will buy 60 Gripen E fighter jets from Saab. The Saab JAS 39 Gripen is a lightweight single-engine multirole fighter manufactured by the Swedish aerospace company Saab. It was designed to replace the Saab 35 Draken and 37 Viggen in the Swedish Air Force. The Gripen has a delta wing and canard configuration with relaxed stability design and fly-by-wire technology. It is powered by the Volvo-Flygmotor RM12 engine, a derivative of the General Electric F404, and has a top speed of Mach 2. So it’s a win win for Sweden both purchasing and manufacturing. That should be the example for all manufacturing countries with an air force. Saab notes that the decision is within the span previously discussed, both by the Government and the Swedish Armed Forces, in order to meet future defence needs in Sweden until 2042. This decision once again shows the broad support both from politicians and authorities for Gripen being the back-bone of Swedish air defence for many years to come. It is also proof that Saab has developed a high technology multi role fighter which answers up to defined needs on the market. And this is again, an example for many manufacturers, especially Dassault and the Rafale as the French jet fighter has yet to find a market. FMV has previously said they are expecting a development order for the next generation Gripen in the beginning of 2013. This means that Gripen will be the only next generation fighter which de facto is produced in the western world. This is a proof of strength that shows Saabs high level of innovation and technological competency.