The Gripen fighter jet is considered more suitable and in accordance with the characteristics of the Ukrainian region. Photo/Reuters
KYIV – Sweden is considering the possibility of sending Gripen fighter jets to Ukraine. This is in line with Ukraine’s efforts to continue to encourage the delivery of advanced aircraft and training from the US and its partners in Europe.
Western-made fighter jets have long topped Ukraine’s wish list for weapons it believes would help the country fight off invading Russian forces.
Here are 5 reasons why Sweden will send Gripen to Ukraine.
1. More Tough Than F16
While the American-made F-16 gets most of the attention, officials in Kyiv are also eyeing the JAS 39 Gripen, a rugged, highly capable aircraft that could give their air force – currently comprised of Soviet-era fighters – a boost. a much needed boost in the sky.
“The Swedish government plans to ask the country’s military to consider the possibility of sending the Gripen to Ukraine,” Swedish public radio reported. The investigation will examine how the transfer of these fighter jets could affect the country’s defense readiness and how quickly new fighter jets can be built to replace the ones sent to Kyiv.
Even if Stockholm agrees to send Gripen fighter jets to Ukraine, as it needs time to consider the transfer first and then train Ukrainian pilots, the fighter jets would likely not have combat experience until mid-2024 at the earliest. The Swedish government did not immediately respond to a request for comment Insider on this issue.
2. Produced Without NATO Assistance
The Gripen was produced with the idea of confronting Russia without NATO assistance. Experts consider the Gripen to be a highly effective fighter jet capable of being armed with advanced air-to-air missiles, including long-range weapons, as well as air-to-surface missiles and bombs.
3. Cheaper and does not need a long runway
These aircraft are relatively cheap to operate, require less runway space for takeoff and landing, can operate in more rugged and difficult locations, and are easy to maintain. Additionally, their electronic warfare capabilities are specifically designed to counter Russian jet radars and ground-based air defense systems, which have proven troublesome for Ukrainian forces.
“It is worth noting that of the currently available Western fighters that could possibly be supplied, the Swedish Saab Gripen C/D is by far the most suitable candidate in terms of operational requirements,” according to experts at the UK-based Royal United Services Institute (RUSI ) wrote in a November 2022 analysis of Ukraine’s air defense requirements.
In contrast to the Gripen, the American-made F-16 – which is currently being trained by Ukrainian pilots – is more expensive to fly, requires more maintenance, and is less flexible in terms of operational requirements. But the Gripen has yet to see any real combat experience, and there is also the problem of limited stockpiles that Kyiv wants to use to acquire the jet.
4. Sweden’s conditions are like Ukraine