The Swedish government commissioned the Army to explore the possibility of transferring JAS 39 Gripen jets to Ukraine.
The Swedish government has commissioned the Swedish Armed Forces to explore the possibilities and consequences, the Minister of Defense Pål Jonson said to the media.
The Swedish Armed Forces must decide by November 6 at the latest.
“The government has decided to commission… an assessment of the conditions under which Sweden can contribute to the field of combat aircraft. We can do this by expanding our participation in the F-16 coalition or donating or exporting the Gripen system”.Pål Jonson, Swedish Defense Minister
“But if Sweden is to donate combat aircraft, it must first be a full member of NATO, as this is associated with risks,” Defense Minister Pål Jonson added.
Sweden hopes to join the NATO defence alliance soon, although member states Turkey and Hungary have blocked their accession.
Sweden’s 14th military aid package to Ukraine
The Swedish Defense Minister Pål Jonson also announced the allocation of the 14th military aid package to Ukraine and announced the preparation of a decision on the possible transfer of Gripen fighter jets.
The aid package costs SEK 2.2 billion (EUR 143 million). The bulk of the package is ammunition, but it also includes spare parts for armoured vehicles. Sweden will also provide communications equipment and infantry gear.
The new military aid package will be Sweden’s 14th to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion began in February 2022, taking the total value of Stockholm’s military aid to just over 22 billion crowns.
Swedish Gripen fighter jets
This year, Ukrainian military pilots have completed their introductory training on Swedish fighter jets.
The induction training reportedly included test flights on aircraft and simulators and training for ground personnel.
As highlighted by many experts, Ukraine lacks air support to repel Russian troops, conduct counteroffensive operations faster and liberate Russia-occupied territories. For this, Kyiv needs modern Western aircraft. Ukraine will receive the US-made F-16 fighter jets at the beginning of 2024.
Gripen fighter jet capabilities
The Saab JAS 39 Gripen is a fourth-generation multi-role fighter developed by Swedish company Saab AB. It was produced in 1979 and made its first flight in 1988.
The maximum speed at high altitude is 2130 km/h, at sea level – 1225 km/h. The combat range is 700 km (with a payload of 2000 kg). The Gripen has a 1×27 mm Mauser BK-27 cannon with a 120-round ammunition capacity.
Gripen fighters have been exported to countries such as the Czech Republic, Hungary, South Africa, Thailand and Brazil. The Gripen took part in the international military operation in Libya, where it performed patrol and reconnaissance missions.