Update: Sweden spells out Gripen, missile, and AEW&C plans

by Gareth Jennings

Sweden has firmed up the numbers of Gripen combat aircraft it plans to field over the coming years, at the same time as disclosing its intent to field a new air launched cruise missile, and to recapitalise its airborne early warning and control (AEW) fleet.

The SwAF is expected to retain 40 Gripen C/D fighters (pictured) to augment the 60 new Gripen Es for a combined fleet of 100 jets. (Saab)

The SwAF is expected to retain 40 Gripen C/D fighters (pictured) to augment the 60 new Gripen Es for a combined fleet of 100 jets. (Saab)

Swedish Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist laid out his government’s plans in a speech delivered on 12 January at the National Conference of the People and Defence 2021.

“The air force is strengthened by the fact that we will now operate a total of 100 JAS Gripens in two versions, instead of what was originally intended 60. The long-range combat capability against ground targets that will be added gives us the opportunity to reach enemy territory with considerable range. It is a real strengthening of Swedish operational capability, which is also an important security policy signal,” he said.

The Swedish Air Force (SwAF) currently fields about 100 Gripen C/D aircraft, which it originally intended to replace with 60 Gripen Es. However, it was recently disclosed that an unspecified number of Gripen C/Ds would be retained through to 2035 to help boost overall numbers. According to Hultqvist’s comments, the service will now retain 40 Gripen C/Ds, though he has yet to break this figure down into the number of single seat Cs and twin seat Ds. The total Gripen force will be divided between four Gripen E squadrons and two Gripen C/D squadrons.

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Sweden has firmed up the numbers of Gripen combat aircraft it plans to field over the coming years, ...

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