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Sweden to upgrade Gripen C/D fleet

With plans to retain the Gripen C/D in service till 2035, the Swedish Air Force has embarked on an upgrade for the platform. (Saab)

Sweden is to upgrade its fleet of Saab JAS 39 Gripen C/D combat aircraft to keep them operationally relevant till 2035.

A spokesperson for the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) told Janes on 14 April that the work will cover all Gripen C/Ds operated by the Swedish Air Force (SwAF), and will be complete towards the end of the decade.

β€œWhat I can say about it at the moment is that the upgrade programme includes the entire Swedish JAS 39C/D fleet, and will be completed in the second half of the 2020s,” the spokesperson said, adding that he was unable to disclose further information at this time, beyond that released by the manufacturer.

According to Saab, it has been awarded SEK500 million (USD52.55 million) to start implementation work for the upgrade.

With the SwAF ready to begin introducing 60 of the latest-variant Gripen Es during the coming years, the service is to retain 40 Gripen C/Ds (the government has yet to break this figure down into the number of single-seat Cs and twin-seat Ds) till the mid-2030s, so as to maintain the mass of its combat aviation force.

The total Gripen force will be divided between four Gripen E squadrons and two Gripen C/D squadrons.

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