Ukrainian pilots began training on Swedish Gripen fighters

Ukrainian pilots have already begun participating in an initial training exercise on Swedish JAS 39 Gripen fighters. Ukraine hopes to receive these fighter jets from Sweden to fight the Russian invasion.

The start of the training was disclosed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at a press conference following talks with Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson.

“Gripen aircraft are the pride of Sweden. I am confident that Gripen can make our freedom much more secure. Gripen test flights with the participation of Ukrainian pilots have already begun.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy

The Ukrainian President and the Swedish Prime Minister had discussed in detail the future steps to allow Ukraine to obtain Gripen aircraft.

The Ukrainian government has repeatedly asked several nations, including Sweden, for help with fighter jets. The requests were made in the summer of 2022, and in February 2023, Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikov expressed Ukraine’s desire to receive JAS 39 Gripen.

But at the Ramstein meeting in June, Reznikov said Ukraine focused primarily on obtaining F-16 fighters.

Back in May, Swedish Defence Minister Paul Johnson announced that several Ukrainian pilots would be trained on the JAS 39 Gripen in response to a request from the Ukrainian side.

Previously, Jonson stressed that the six JAS 39 Gripen squadrons in service with the Swedish Defence Forces are needed for their own defence needs, so transferring at least one of the aircraft does not seem likely.

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.

Read also: US approves transfer of F-16s from Denmark and the Netherlands to Ukraine

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