skip to main content

Hungary increases Gripen fleet

Hungary is to bring its Gripen fleet up to 18, with the addition of a further four aircraft announced on 23 February. (Janes/Patrick Allen)

Hungary is to increase the size of its fleet of Saab Gripen combat aircraft, with a deal announced on 23 February for an additional four airframes.

With 14 Gripen C/D aircraft having been leased from Sweden in 2001 and entering service in 2006, Saab has said that it has signed an agreement with the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) for four additional Gripen Cs for the Hungarian Air Force (HuAF).

β€œThis order follows an amendment to the contract between [the] FMV and the Hungarian government signed in December 2001 regarding 14 Gripen C/D fighters for the Hungarian Air Force. The contract amendment for the four additional aircraft was signed by the Hungarian Ministry of Defence and FMV on 23 February. With this new contract amendment, Hungary will operate a total of 18 Gripen C/D aircraft to protect and defend the Hungarian and NATO airspace,” Saab said.

Though not mentioned in the announcement, these additional aircraft will be at the latest MS20 Block 2 standard that are being retrofitted to the HuAF's existing Gripen fleet. This standard includes upgrades to the Saab PS-05/A Mk4 radar to improve both air-to-air target tracking range and overall performance, enhanced Link 16 datalink capabilities, as well as installing the latest NATO Mode 5 standard identification, friend-or-foe (IFF) system.

MS20 Block 2 allows Hungary to choose from a wider selection of weapons, including the Diehl IRIS-T and MBDA Meteor air-to-air missiles, RTX AIM-130C-8 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAMs), Raytheon GBU-49 Paveway precision-guided bomb, and improved DM113 FAP (frangible armour piercing) ammunition for the aircraft's 27 mm cannon.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...