Launched back in 1982, Saab's Gripen programme already looked set to have a good few years left in its production run, but a new agreement between Sweden and Switzerland has given the firm a real boost in marketing the next-generation E/F model.
The Swiss defence ministry on 28 August provided a load more detail to its planned deal to buy 22 Gripens, first announced last November. Key elements are a fixed-price of SFr3.1 billion ($3.2 billion) with deliveries to be made between mid-2018 and 2021, and a proposed bridging deal under which it would lease 11 Gripen C/Ds (Alpine-backed Swedish air force D photographed from onboard an F/A-18 Hornet in the Swiss air force shot below) over a five-year period from 2016. You can read the full story here.
Getting the future Gripen into production is not a done deal yet - the bilateral pact must first clear parliamentary debate in Sweden and a possible future referendum in Switzerland, but it's looking increasingly good for Saab and its suppliers.