Sweden improves JAS 39 Gripen C/D’s capabilities with a new update
STOCKHOLM, ($1=9.58 Swedish Kronas) — The Swedish public procurement body, FMV, has awarded a contract to local company Saab to upgrade its fleet of JAS 39 Gripen C/D fighters, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, citing InfoDefensa. The contract, valued at SEK 500 million [around EUR 48.5 or million or 53.9 million at current exchange rates], includes “providing improvements to the capacity to maintain the operational applicability of the fighter”.
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According to Joab Helm, Saab Aeronautics Business Area Manager, “Gripen C/D is the backbone of the Swedish Armed Forces today and will remain so for many years to come, so this is an important contract to ensure continued operation and operational suitability for Gripen C/D. ”
The purpose of this assignment, the company said, is to update the aircraft in such a way that “the continued high capacity and availability of the Gripen C/D can be maintained until 2035.”
“Gripen C/D is the system that will be used for many years in Sweden and other countries that have purchased Gripen,” explains the manufacturer. Gripen was purchased by the Swedish Air Force, which has nearly a hundred units of armaments, Hungary, the Czech Republic, South Africa, Thailand, and Brazil.
Among the advantages of the aircraft that the manufacturer points out is its high availability: “It only takes ten minutes to reload, rearm and return the aircraft for an air-to-air mission.” It is also capable of short take-off and landing [STOL], which allows it to work in remote areas, for which it only needs roads 16 meters wide and 800 meters long.
The aircraft is designed to easily integrate “weapons from around the world, including agile short-range and long-range air-to-air missiles, heavy air-to-ground missiles and guided bombs.” It is designed to be fully interoperable with NATO, including the Link 16 tactical data link. In addition, the company says, it is designed to receive continuous updates rather than major mid-life updates.
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