The Swedish Defence Material Administration (FMV) has awarded a contract to Saab to provide support and maintenance for Gripen aircraft.

Valued at SEK150m ($17.96m), the contract will see maintenance services being delivered for the aircraft for this year.

Awarded on behalf of the Swedish Armed Forces, the latest order is an extension of a 2012 agreement and covers the further supply of spare equipment.

In June 2012, Saab received four orders from FMV for Gripen development, support and maintenance through up to this year.

The orders involved an initial SEK3.6bn ($520m) contract and options for additional orders amounting to a maximum of SEK2bn until December this year.

The long-term agreement was signed to provide performance-based support and maintenance for the aircraft, including technical support, publications, spare equipment and component maintenance to ensure continued Gripen operations.

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By GlobalData

Saab business area Support and Services head Jonas Hjelm said: "Well-functioning support and maintenance are essential to maintain efficient operations and availability of a country’s air force.

"Well-functioning support and maintenance are essential to maintain efficient operations and availability of a country’s air force."

"Today’s order will ensure that for the Gripen system."

Work under the contract will be performed at the company’s facilities in Linköping and Arboga, Sweden.

Powered by a single Volvo-Flygmotor RM12 engine, the JAS 39 Gripen is a lightweight, multirole fighter aircraft designed to conduct a wide range of air-to-air, air-to-surface and reconnaissance missions.

The aircraft first entered into operational service with the air force in 1997, which currently operates a fleet of 180 Gripens for reconnaissance operations.

Image: The Swedish Air Force JAS 39 Gripen. Photo: MatthiasKabel.