Sweden's government has approved a proposal by the armed forces to acquire 60 Saab Gripen E combat aircraft, delivering a major boost for the developmental version of the manufacturer's flagship product.
Confirmed on 17 January, the decision to field the new aircraft from 2018 is also of significance to the Swiss government, which last year signed a framework agreement with its Swedish counterpart to jointly advance the E-model programme. Switzerland has selected the type under a requirement to buy 22 new aircraft to replace its Northrop F-5 fighters, with first deliveries sought from mid-2018.
A Swiss evaluation team conducted its most recent flights using a two-seat development aircraft for the Gripen E (above) from Saab's Linköping site last December. The activity involved verifying the successful integration of the multirole type's Selex Galileo Raven ES-05 active electronically scanned array radar, Saab says.
The Swedish government had included a proposal to buy between 40 and 60 new-generation Gripens as part of its Budget 2013 process, which was launched last year. Final deliveries of the type are expected to be made in 2027 under its approval for the deal.