There is information that Sweden received a request from Ukraine regarding the possible provision of Saab JAS 39 Gripen combat aircraft to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. This is reported by European Pravda with reference to the words of the Minister of Defense of Sweden, Paul Jonsson.
“Yes. Of course, we know (about Ukraine’s request), President Zelensky also asked for it. When it comes to Gripen, we are currently facing limitations due to the fact that these aircraft are also very important to maintain our territorial integrity and sovereignty. So this will be a serious obstacle in terms of resources for our national defense,” said Paul Jonsson in Brussels before the meeting of NATO defense ministers.
“Yesterday, I had the opportunity to discuss this with the Minister of Defense of Ukraine, Reznikov. We are also working with other countries to strengthen air defense,” he added. “We are significantly increasing our support for Ukraine. Next week, we will start training the Ukrainian military on over 50 CV-90 IFVs. We provide various means of air defense, and winter clothing, and are determined to strengthen support for Ukraine.”
Sweden has already provided almost €1 billion in military aid to Ukraine. In a recent aid package there were 50 CV90 IFVs, an undisclosed amount of 155-mm Archer self-propelled guns and MBT LAW / NLAW ATGM.
It should be noted that so far Sweden has considered and satisfied almost all of Ukraine’s requests for weapons, so it is possible that the Armed Forces of Ukraine will eventually receive Saab JAS 39 Gripen. Especially since, for example, the Czech Republic and Hungary use these aircraft under the leasing scheme.
The Saab JAS 39 Gripen is a fourth-generation light Swedish multirole fighter aircraft developed in the late 1980s which entered service in 1996. An interesting feature of the aircraft is very low operating costs and the cost of a flight hour is 3-4 times less than that of Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, two times less than that of Eurofighter Typhoon and 1.5 times less than F-16 Block 40/50.
Another interesting feature of the Saab JAS 39 Gripen is the ability to use highways as airstrips and the ability to land on snow-covered strips as short as 500 m, which is very different from the Eurofighter Typhoon, which needs good runways. In addition, preparing the Gripen for the next takeoff takes only 10-20 minutes, which is also impressive.
Of course, the Saab JAS 39 Gripen is compatible with a large range of NATO missiles and bombs: IRIS-T, AIM-9 Sidewinder, A-Darter, MBDA Meteor, AIM-120 AMRAAM, MBDA MICA, AGM-65 Maverick, KEPD.350, RBS-15F, GBU-12 Paveway II, Mark 82, GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb and so on.
The latest version of the fighter, the Saab JAS 39 Gripen E, or JAS 39E, costs $85 million per aircraft and is in single copies in service with Sweden and Brazil.
The Swedish Air Force currently has 71 JAS 39Cs and has received only 2 of the first JAS 39Es, out of an order for 60 additional aircraft of the latter model. Plus 24 JAS 39E and 4 JAS 39D owned by Sweden are leased by the Czech Republic and Hungary.
Saab JAS 39 Gripen technical specifications
Crew – 1 (JAS 39C, JAS 39E) / 2 (JAS 39D, JAS 39F),
Length – 14.9 m (JAS 39C), 15.6 m (JAS 39D), 15.2 m (JAS 39E), 15.9 m (JAS 39F)
Wingspan – 8.4 m (JAS 39C/D), 8.6 m (JAS 39E/F)
Height – 4.5 m
Wing area – 30 m2
Empty weight – 6,800 kg (JAS 39C/D), 8,000 kg (JAS 39E/F)
Maximum take-off weight – 14,000 kg (JAS 39C/D), 16,500 (JAS 39E/F)
Load capacity – 5,300 kg (JAS 39C/D), 7,200 kg (JAS 39E/F)
Powerplant – 1 × Volvo RM12 turbofan engine, thrust 54 kN / 80.5 kN (JAS 39C/D), or 1 × General Electric RM16 turbofan engine, thrust 61.83 / 98 kN (JAS 39E/F)
Maximum speed – Mach 2 or 2100 km/h at 15240 m, Mach 1.2 or 1470 km/h at sea level
Combat range – 800 km (JAS 39C/D), 1,500 km (JAS 39E/F)
Maximum service ceiling – 15,240 m (JAS 39C/D), 16,000 m (JAS 39E/F)
Takeoff distance – 400 m (JAS 39C/D), 500 m (JAS 39E/F)
Landing distance – 500 m (JAS 39C/D), 600 km (JAS 39E/F)
Armament (guns) – 1 × 27 mm Mauser BK-27 revolver cannon with 120 rounds
Hardpoints – 8 (JAS 39C/D), 10 (JAS 39E/F)