Pål Jonson, Minister of Defence of Sweden, has announced the training of several Ukrainian pilots on Swedish JAS 39 Gripen fighter jets in response to the Ukrainian side's request.
Source: Pål Jonson, Minister of Defence of Sweden, in the interview with TV4
According to the Swedish minister, several experienced Ukrainian pilots will be able to train on simulators and make test flights on the JAS 39 Gripen fighter jets. It is going to be a "familiarisation program", he specified.
Although Sweden and Ukraine still have to make certain decisions for the start of the training program, TV4 notes, it can be considered the first step on the way for Ukraine to receive these fighters.
At the same time, Jonson emphasised that the six JAS 39 Gripen squadrons in service with the Swedish Defence Forces are needed for their defence needs, so the supply of at least one aircraft does not seem likely.
"Currently, there is no question of providing Ukraine with any planes," he added.
The Ukrainian government has repeatedly appealed for help with fighter jets to several countries, including Sweden. Requests were made as early as the summer of 2022, and in February 2023, Oleksii Reznikov [Ukrainian Defence Minister – ed.] expressed Ukraine's desire to receive the JAS 39 Gripen jets.
- Last week, the United Kingdom announced the establishment of an international coalition of countries aimed at training Ukrainian pilots on fourth-generation fighters, including F-16s. The coalition already includes the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, the United States, Portugal and Norway.
- According to the media, about 20 Ukrainian pilots will begin the first phase of training on F-16 fighter jets in the UK.