Sweden considers sending Gripen fighter jets to Ukraine. Photos/Illustrations
STOCKHOLM – The Swedish government is considering donating Gripen fighter jets to Ukraine to help it fight Russia. This was reported by Swedish public radio (SR) Tuesday (12/9/2023) citing an unnamed source.
“The government wants to know, among other things, how this handover will impact Sweden’s defense capabilities and how quickly Sweden can get new Gripen fighter aircraft,” the SR report said as quoted by Al Arabiya.
According to the report, the Swedish government may officially ask the armed forces on Thursday to officially consider the issue.
The Swedish Ministry of Defense did not immediately respond to a request for comment on this report.
Previously the Netherlands and Denmark had led efforts to supply Ukraine with US-made F-16 fighter jets to help counter Russian air superiority in the war.
According to the SR report, Ukraine hopes to receive a division of Gripen jets, made by Sweden’s Saab, or around 16-18 aircraft.
Sweden this year said it would give Ukrainian pilots the opportunity to test the Gripen, but the government also said it needed all its planes to defend Swedish territory.
The opposition leader last month said Sweden should prepare to send Gripens to Ukraine once the country completes its accession to the US-led NATO defense alliance, which is still awaiting ratification from fellow NATO members Turkey and Hungary.
Sweden has previously helped Ukraine by supplying weapons such as tanks, anti-aircraft systems and Type 90 armored infantry fighting vehicles.