​Saab Says It Would Be a Fairly Rapid Process to Send Gripen Aircraft to Ukraine

The Swedish JAS 39 Gripen aircraft / Photo credit: Saab
The Swedish JAS 39 Gripen aircraft / Photo credit: Saab

But, Sweden has not made a decision to transfer its fighter jets to Ukraine so far

In addition to the F-16 multifunctional fighter jets, that Ukraine may receive this summer, the Swedish JAS 39 Gripen aircraft is considered to be one of realistic options to strengthen the Ukrainian Air Force. But the decision to transfer these aircraft has not been made at the official level yet.

"We expect that if such a decision was granted approval by the Swedish government, it would be a fairly rapid process to send the aircraft to Ukraine. We are moving in the right direction currently, " chief marketing officer at Saab, Mikael Franzén told Defense News.

Read more: When Ukraine Will Receive the First Danish F-16 Fighter Jets Became Known

Apparently, one of conditions for this decision is Sweden's accession to NATO. Turkey, that had not adopted this decision for some time, has already ratified it. Hungary has to do the same soon. According to Saab, they are ready to provide Ukraine with jets if the government agrees to this decision.

"There remains a big push coming from inside and outside of Sweden for us to send the Gripen to Ukraine, and we stand ready to provide these should a decision be reached by the government on this," Franzén said.

Saab Says It Would Be a Fairly Rapid Process to Send Gripen Aircraft to Ukraine, Defense Express
Sweden may send the JAS 39 Gripen to Ukraine / Photo credit: Saab

Saab representatives also confirmed information that the Ukrainian Air Force pilots had successfully tested Gripen aircraft in Sweden last year. Ukrainian pilots had so-called "introductory training," which included training on simulators as well as practical flights on the aircraft. Then, this was considered as a positive step to transfer these jets to Ukraine.

Former Gripen pilot and air operations advisor for Saab, Jussi Halmetoja, said in a commentary to the publication that it takes four to six months to train pilot for a limited set of tasks on this aircraft, including the use of combat systems.

But these processes will probably take more time in general. Because in the case with the F-16s, the United States decided to increase duration of training for Ukrainian pilots, so that they could better do their combat tasks in Ukraine.

“One of the initial challenges that can easily be overcome is language barriers, but teaching them about maintaining the aircraft and using its weapons as well as tactics, techniques and procedures properly are harder ones,” Halmetoja added.

Earlier Defense Express reported that Sweden had provided Ukraine with new package of military aid including the CV90 IFV latest version, combat boats.

Read more: ​Ukrainian Military Aviation Could Get 5th Generation Fighter Jet in 2030s