BRITISH AEROSPACE and Saab unveiled a full-scale mock-up of the Gripen lightweight fighter at the show and say that they will be able to offer the aircraft, which has substantial US content, in any Latin American country cleared to receive the Lockheed Martin F-16 and McDonnell Douglas F-18.

BAe and Saab are defining an export version of the Gripen under a joint venture agreement signed in June 1995. Definition of the export aircraft is to be completed in August.

The joint venture is already working to offer the Gripen to Hungary. This will be a NATO-compatible version of the basic Swedish air force JAS39, the companies say. BAe is to receive 45% of the airframe work on any Gripen export sale and has joined Saab in creating an offset deal for Hungary.

Other fighter competitions are in the offing in Austria, Poland and Norway. Brazil is also a potential candidate. The joint venture says that it has export support from the UK and Swedish Governments.

Source: Flight International