The Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) has placed an order with Saab to provide maintenance services for the JAS 39 Gripen C/D fighter aircraft.

The total value of the order is estimated to be $52m (Skr500m).

The deal will see Saab provide capability improvements to the aircraft to maintaining its operational relevance until the mid-2030s, as well as cost-effective solutions to help sustain the aircraft for a longer period.

The purpose of the order is to support the comprehensive study undertaken by the Swedish Armed Forces and FMV in 2021.

FMV Aviation Equipment head Ingela Mathiasson said: “We are placing this order to begin work to secure the Swedish Armed Forces’ need for continued high capability and availability for JAS 39 C/D until the mid-2030s.”

According to FMV, the new order is for initial work, which will be followed by other additional orders on an ongoing basis this year.

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Developed by Saab, the Gripen C/D is a multi-role light fighter aircraft, capable of conducting wide range of missions including air-to-air, air-to-surface and reconnaissance.

Saab Aeronautics business area head Jonas Hjelm said: “Gripen C/D is the backbone of the Swedish Armed Forces today and will continue to be for many years to come, so this is an important order where we will ensure the continued operation and operational relevance of Gripen C/D.”

Earlier in December 2021, FMV awarded a contract to Saab to deliver new Gripen E equipment.

The new Gripen E jet is the advanced variant of the Gripen C/D aircraft.