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Sweden gets closer to providing Gripen fighters to Ukraine – Politico

Thursday, 19 October 2023, 09:20

The Swedish government is carefully preparing the ground for the potential delivery of Gripen fighter jets to Ukraine.

Source: European Pravda, citing Politico.

The article says that the decision by Norway, Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands to deliver F-16 fighter jets to Kyiv has made the provision of Gripen to Ukraine a more actively discussed subject in terms of aid from Sweden.

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It is believed that it could take up to a year before the planes arrive in Ukraine, as pilots and engineers will need training with unfamiliar systems.

The Gripens could significantly help Kyiv control its airspace, as they are considered relatively cheap and easy to maintain, and can operate from shorter and narrower runways, including improvised runways on straight stretches of road.

This reduces the risk of amassment of aircraft at a large base and possible destruction by a single enemy attack. In addition, the planes have special equipment to counter Russian fighter jets and surface-to-air radar systems.

Earlier, the Swedish government announced the allocation of the 14th package of military aid to Ukraine and discussed the preparation of a decision on the possible supply of Gripen fighters.

Pål Jonson, the Minister of Defence of Sweden, said that the Armed Forces of Sweden and the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration had been instructed to study the possibility of supplying or exporting Gripen fighter jets to Ukraine.

"The government has decided to commission... to assess the conditions under which Sweden can contribute in the field of combat aircraft. We can do this by expanding our participation in the F-16 coalition or donating or exporting the Gripen system," Jonson said.

The assessment is expected to be ready by 6 November.

Background:

  • Sweden is part of an aircraft coalition, the purpose of which is to provide fighter jets to Ukraine. Previously, Ukrainian pilots and ground personnel had the opportunity to test Gripen aircraft in Sweden.
  • The supply of Gripen fighter jets to Ukraine was discussed during a visit by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to Sweden.

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