29 Jun '12, 3pm

Sweden Could Lend Switzerland Gripens

GENEVA — Sweden could loan a fleet of Gripen fighter jets to Switzerland as it awaits delivery of the craft’s next generation model, Swiss Defense Minister Ueli Maurer said on June 29. Bern announced in November its intention to buy 22 Saab Gripen E/F fighter jets to replace its aging U.S. F-5 fighter fleet in an estimated 3.1 billion Swiss franc (2.5 billion euro) deal. The E/F is still under development and Sweden could loan Switzerland about 10 of the current C/D model in the meantime. Maurer made the announcement on June 29 after a two-day meeting with his Swedish counterpart Karin Enstrom, Swiss news agency ATS reported. The loan would allow pilots to get trained up and avoid the costly upkeep of the F-5. The Gripen, not available before 2020, was selected over the French Dassault Rafale and the EADS Eurofighter, sparking much debate in the Swiss parliament which has ...

Full article: http://www.defensenews.com/article/20120629/DEFREG01/3062...

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