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Sweden contracts Saab, GKN to chart next-generation fighter development

A model of the Gripen E combat aircraft at Saab's headquarters in Stockholm. With the type set to be in Swedish Air Force service through into the 2040s, the country is now looking at what might come after. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

The Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (Försvarets materielverk: FMV) has contracted Saab and GKN to provide it with the basis for future fighter decisions based on studies, technology development, and preparations for demonstrators.

Announced on 22 March, the awards will run for two years from the beginning of 2024 to the end of 2025.

“During the period up to 2025, activities will be initiated that include knowledge building at the Swedish Armed Forces, the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration, and the Swedish Defence Research Agency,” the FMV said. “It is about being able to lead, analyse, and evaluate the business, carry out studies and system concepts, and develop an overall set of requirements. Furthermore, the activities will ensure national industrial capacity and know-how through studies, technology development, and preparations for ground-based and aerial demonstrators.”

In acknowledging the award, Saab noted, “We have the advanced technology and engineering know-how to take the future fighter concept forward”, adding that its future fighter development work will take place concurrent to its ongoing Gripen C/D upgrade and Gripen E work.

GKN will work to develop conceptual studies for power and propulsion systems for the future fighter capability, saying, “The studies will help create the foundation for future fighter systems and continue the path of innovative Swedish-developed fighter systems.”

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