Swedish Air Force's JAS 39 Gripen aircraft

The Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) has awarded a series of contracts to Saab for the development, support and maintenance of the JAS 39 Gripen fighter aircraft for the Swedish Air Force.

The four contracts include an initial order of SKr3.6bn ($520bn) and options for additional contracts valued at Skr2bn, running until December 2016.

Under the contract, Saab will supply a performance-based support and maintenance solution and performance-based logistics, including spare parts, maintenance of aircraft systems, technical engineering support, technical publications and logistics solutions for operation of the fighter in Sweden, Czech Republic, Hungary and Thailand.

Additional services include associated ground resources for upgrade processes, a Gripen development package (MS20), as well as studies and definition activities for further enhancements to the aircraft.

Saab Support and Services business area head, Lars-Erik Wige, said: ”This long-term contract enables Saab to conduct support operations in a more effective manner, compared to previous agreements."

Saab Aeronautics head, Lennart Sindahl, said the aircraft has already proven its growth potential by conducting different mission tasks such as operation Unified Protector in Libya.

"It is therefore important for the future that we can continue to add new capabilities by request from FMV to a flight system that has already proven to be of world class today," Sindahl added.

The additional options involve Saab performing support and maintenance operations, such as technical publications and repairs, which are crucial for Gripen’s flying missions.

Work under the contract is scheduled to be performed at Saab’s facilities in Linkoping, Arboga, Jarfalla and Gothenburg, Sweden, throughout 2016.

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

The Swedish Air Force currently operates a fleet of 180 Gripen for reconnaissance operations, as reported by Flightglobal’s MiliCAS database.

Image: A Swedish Air Force JAS 39 Gripen aircraft during flight. Photo: courtesy of Ernst Vikne.