SAAB IS AIMING to produce export versions of its JAS39 Gripen multi-role fighter before the turn of the century.

According to Saab Military Aircraft vice-president of production and deputy general manager Ragnar Hellstadius, the Swedish company plans to adapt the aircraft to export standards. It will do so in partnership with British Aerospace, for availability "at the end of the 1990s".

The company declines to give further details of the project until the initial Saab-BAe partnership agreement has been approved by the boards of Saab-Scania, BAe and IG JAS, as well as the Swedish and UK Governments.

The company is also examining engine and avionics options for the proposed JAS39C Gripen upgrade with enhanced data-handling capability.

Source: Flight International