Swedish air force to extend use of Saab 105 trainers

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Saab has secured a deal to support operations of the Swedish air force's Saab 105 (Sk 60) jet trainers until mid-2017.

Signed with Sweden's Defence Materiel Administration on 19 December, the public-private partnership deal will see the company deliver operational support and maintenance services for the air force's active inventory of around 106 Saab 105s, operations of which started in 1967.

 
© Per Kustvik/Saab

Saab says the contract is expected to be worth around SKr900 million ($115 million), but that options exist to extend the service or deliver additional flight hours.

"This lays the foundation for a long and close partnership with our armed forces regarding their pilot training, and our already good relationship will strengthen and develop further through this relationship, says Saab chief executive Åke Svensson.

Sweden had previously expected to continue jet-only pilot training activities with its Sk 60s until 2015, but has extended the type's planned retirement pending the availability of the replacement Advanced European Jet Pilot Training (AEJPT), or Eurotraining system.

Expected to use Alenia Aermacchi's M-346 advanced jet trainer, the AEJPT scheme involves Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. Stockholm's programme requirements have previously been identified as totalling 10 student pilots per year from 2015.