The Swedish Defence Materiel Administration has awarded a $53 million contract to conglomerate Saab to modernize the country’s JAS 39 Gripen C/D fighter aircraft.
As part of the agreement, the company will provide capability improvements to the aircraft and maintain its operational relevance until the mid-2030s.
Saab will also provide cost-effective solutions to help sustain the Gripen for a longer period.
According to Saab official Jonas Hjelm, the contract is important because it will ensure the continued operation of the combat fighter, which serves as the “backbone” of the Swedish armed forces.
Sweden currently operates more than 90 Gripen C/D fourth-generation multirole fighters. Countries such as the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Thailand also use the aircraft.
The Gripen Aircraft
A replacement for all Viggen and Draken combat aircraft variants, Saab’s Gripen can perform an extensive range of air-to-air, air-to-surface, and reconnaissance missions.
It can travel at a speed of 2,470 kilometers (1,534 miles) per hour.
The aircraft carries air-to-air missiles such as the Raytheon AIM-120B AMRAAM and the Lockheed Martin Sidewinder AIM-9L.
It is also equipped with the Ericsson PS-05 long-range multi-purpose pulse Doppler radar that features long-range search, multi-target track-while-scan, and multiple priority target tracking capabilities.
“Gripen C-series is a true swing-role fighter, designed with smart technical solutions,” Saab said on its website. “It is built to adapt to new technologies as they become available and to counter evolving threats as they arise.”