Sweden submitted its proposal of 12 new Gripen C/D fighter aircraft to Croatia.
Representatives of the Swedish Defence Material Administration (FMV) and the Swedish Embassy in Croatia submitted the government-to-government proposal of 12 new Gripen C/D fighter aircraft to the Croatian authorities.
Parallel to Sweden’s proposal, Saab is offering a tailored made strategic cooperation package that will boost the Croatian defence industry, and benefit Croatian security by building a long-term partnership with strategic sectors.
“Sweden and Saab are offering a comprehensive and long-term solution for Croatian homeland security that will protect Croatia’s people and borders for decades to come. If Croatia chooses Gripen, Saab is ready to transfer know-how and technology and establish a Regional Aeronautical & Support Service Centre in Croatia. This would develop long term cooperation with local defence industry as well as the academic sector, generating some 500 high-tech jobs,” says Jonas Hjelm, Senior Vice President and head of Saab business area Aeronautics.
Gripen C/D is a modern and proven multi-role fighter that uses the latest technology and performs an extensive range of air-to-air, air-to-ground and reconnaissance missions. The aircraft is in operational service with the air forces of Sweden, Hungary, the Czech Republic, South Africa and Thailand.
Gripen fighters of the Czech and Hungarian Air Forces participate regularly in NATO operations and exercises, proving the fighter’s full NATO interoperability.
Gripen C/D stays ahead of its opponents through an on-going evolution of its systems and the weapons it can use, and the fighter will remain operational for decades.
An effort to procure a fighter of Western origin was launched in 2017, resulting in bids from Saab for the Gripen, and from Greece, Israel, and the U.S. offering F-16s. A batch of 12 ex-Israeli Lockheed Martin F-16s was selected in March, but this deal foundered in January 2019 due to U.S. objections regarding third-party technology transfer.
This led to a new fighter requirement being raised in July 2019, with new-build Gripen C/Ds and F-16 Block 70/72s being offered, along with various second-hand aircraft, including F-16s and Typhoons. A decision was expected in August 2020 for service-entry in 2022, but in early April 2020, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković announced that the fighter procurement program would be postponed while the government concentrated on handling the Covid-19 pandemic and the aftermath of the March 22 earthquake that damaged parts of the capital.
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