Saab has secured contracts worth a combined SKr3.6 billion ($520 million) to support operations with the Swedish air force's Gripen fighters through 2016, and to also continue with the type's development.

Key elements of the package include new performance-based support, maintenance and logistics deals, as well as "an addition to Gripen development package MS20". It also contains funding to perform studies and definition work linked to possible later enhancements to the single-engined type.

Gripen Sweden - Saab 


"This long-term contract enables Saab to conduct support operations in a more effective manner, compared to previous agreements," says Lars-Erik Wige, head of the company's support and services business area.

Announcing its receipt of the business from Sweden's Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) on 29 June, the manufacturer said options could increase the value of the work by a further SKr2 billion by December 2016.

"It is important that we can continue to add new capabilities by request from FMV to a flight system that has already proven to be of world class today," says Lennart Sindahl, head of Saab's aeronautics business area.

The Swedish air force has a current active fleet of 180 Gripens, says Flightglobal's MiliCAS database. The type was involved in the Libya campaign in 2011, during which it provided reconnaissance services to a NATO-led coalition.

Source: Flight International