Norway says ‘no’ to Gripen

Well, so much for the F-35′s supposed vulnerability in Northern Europe:

Norway has rejected an offer to acquire Saab’s GripenNG combat aircraft, with its government instead recommending that thenation maintain its commitment to purchase Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter as a replacement for its Lockheed F-16 fleet.

Oslo’s announcement states: “The JSF is the only candidate thatfulfils all the operational requirements specified by the Norwegiangovernment and is furthermore offered at a lower price than the GripenNG.”

Read Norway’s official statement here.

[UPDATE: By the way Norway's statement explains that the F-35 is superior to the Gripen in the following categories: intelligence and surveillance, counter air, airinterdiction and anti-surface warfare. The debate continues ...]

Saab’s response is on the jump.


This is Saab’s official statement:

Norway to negotiate with Saab’s competitor

The Norwegian Defense Minister Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen today announced that the Norwegian Government recommends to negotiate with a to Saab competing company.

“I’m disappointed and surprised about the Norwegian Governments decision, because Gripen fulfills all the operational requirements, to a fixed and known price. In addition to this, we have offered a wide and strong industrial cooperation package,” says Saab CEO Åke Svensson.

“Gripen is a very competitive combat aircraft on the international market and we will now continue to focus on all the other countries were procurement processes are ongoing and Gripen is an alternative,” says Svensson.

The Norwegian Government’s procurement of new fighters to replace the current

F-16 fleet was initiated in 2005. During the last months two offers have been compared, one for the American Joint Strike Fighter and one for Gripen.

Fighter procurement processes where Saab is involved

• Switzerland: Proposal handed in, July 2008

• The Netherlands: Saab invited to participate in the procurement process, August 2008

• Brazil: Gripen chosen as one of three candidates, October 2008

• Denmark: Binding proposal handed in, November 2007

• India: Binding proposal handed in, April 2008

Romania: Binding proposal handed in, 2008

Bulgaria: A proposal is being prepared

Croatia: A proposal is being prepared

Countries who have chosen Gripen


South Africa

Czech Republic


• Hungary


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3 Responses to Norway says ‘no’ to Gripen

  1. Magnus 21 November, 2008 at 7:53 pm #

    The norwegian government has released a report that explains the choice of F-35 over Gripen:

    Unfortunalely it’s only in Norwegian. I will give you a small summary in English. The report gives a very brief description in of the requirements. Than it gives the conclusions. There is barely no analysis or motivation of the conclusions at all. The most interesting in he report is this:

    I luft-til-luft-rollen belyses Beyond Visual Range-delen av moderne luftkamp.

    In English: “In the air-to-air role the Beyond Visual Range part of modern air combat is analyzed.” In other words: The within visual range capabilities are NOT studied! I leave it to the reader to speculate about why.

  2. Stephen Trimble 21 November, 2008 at 7:56 pm #

    Great link! Looks like a job for Google Translator!

  3. Ian Challen 27 November, 2008 at 8:44 pm #

    Maths was never one of my strong points.However,as reported in Flight Int, the Norwegian report said the 48 Gripens (price mentioned 2.5B NKr) would cost 6B NKr MORE! to buy than the F35BT’s (bomb trucks).
    Does this mean that Norway will be getting their F35 aircraft for free, along with a cheque for 3.5B NKr.
    Also I hope the Norwegian Govt is aware that export models of the F35 are not neccesarily sold with the same level of stealth enhancements (read this in an on-line Australian report).

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