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Gripen E contract amended to new-build rather than remanufactured

18 December 2017
While previously Saab was to reuse certain items form the Gripen C for the Gripen E, it will now build the aircraft completely from new. Source: Saab

The Saab Gripen E combat aircraft will no longer use parts salvaged from retired Gripen Cs, with each aircraft now to be built completely from new.

The manufacturer announced on 18 December that the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) had awarded it a SEK400 million (USD47 million) modification to the SEK57.9 billion development contracts awarded in early 2013. This modification covers the production of new parts that were originally slated to be cross-decked from retired Gripen C aircraft.

“The original contract, which was signed with FMV during 2013, regarding development and modification of Gripen E is based on the terms that certain equipment from the existing aircraft fleet/stock within the Swedish Armed Forces should be reused. This new contract means that the equipment that should be reused instead will be acquired new,” Saab said in a statement, adding; “This […] is intended to secure availability so that the Swedish Armed Forces can keep the Gripen C/D fleet in operational service while Gripen E is being delivered and put into operational service in the Swedish Air Force.”

Under the terms of the original production contract awarded in December 2013, Saab was to convert 60 of the Swedish Air Force’s (SwAF’s) Gripen C platforms into the latest-variant Gripen E (the service’s 25 Gripen Ds would remain as lead-in fighter trainers until the full fleet of Gripen Es had been delivered by the end of 2026).

However, as far back as March 2014 Saab officials were briefing Jane’s and other defence aviation media that the Gripen C and Gripen E share little in terms of common structures and systems. According to the officials, the only items able to be cross-decked are the windscreen and canopy, the outer elevons, the ejection-seat, the internal gun and conveyor system, and some other ancillary equipment. As such, it was always the case that the original 2013 contracts would need to be amended to reflect this.

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