Saab is to modernise the Hungarian Air Force’s (HunAF) Gripen fighter aircraft fleet to the MS20 Block 2 capability standard.

The development follows the conclusion of discussions for the upgrade between the Hungarian Government Commissioner Office and the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV).

The MS20 Block 2 upgrade brings several aircraft enhancements such as enhanced combat and communication capabilities, as well as a significant increase in the air-to-air target tracking range and performance.

It will also enable the aircraft to be integrated with a broad range of weapon systems.

HDF Air Force Inspector major general Nandor Kilian said: “Thanks to the modernisation of the Hungarian Gripen aircraft, the operational capabilities of the Hungarian Air Force will be significantly increased.

“Our staff has appreciated a close and fruitful cooperation with the Swedish side on this specific modernisation project, as well as the cooperation during the 15 years that we have operated Gripen aircraft.”

Saab noted that a radar upgrade to the PS-05/A Mk 4 will improve the sensor capability. This increases the detection capability of small air-to-air targets and enhanced clutter suppression.

The MS20 Block 2 upgrade also improves Nato data link functionality and updated voice communication to the new Nato-secure communication standard.

Saab Aeronautics business area head Jonas Hjelm said: “During this period of 15 years since the Gripen first landed at Kecskemet Air Base, it is clear that the Hungarian Air Force has taken the step to be one of the premier air forces in Europe and is a real contributor to Nato and EU operations.

“With these changes introduced by MS20 Block 2 upgrade, Hungary will get an even more efficient and powerful aircraft, capable of competing in every respect with any other next generation fighter aircraft.”