According to Svenska Dagbladet newspaper, the Swedish government paid for 14 Gripen C/D airframes that are unused in order to ensure that the production line at Saab can transition to the Gripen E.
Ten of those are C models while the rest are two-seaters. The government had hoped that the fighters could be exported to overseas customers but the orders never came in.
The government had hoped that the fighters could be exported to overseas customers but the orders never came in.
According to the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) that those 14 airframes were included in the Gripen E contract.
These aircraft, in fact, were ordered to maintain the skills to manufacture fighter aircraft, as the production of Gripens for Sweden’s Air Force and other export customers, such as Thailand, South Africa and the Czech Republic, almost ceased, and a substantial break was looming. The extra Gripens were therefore ordered to keep the assembly line running before the production of JAS-39E.
FMV declined to disclose its plans on what to do with the unused airframes. Since they cannot be used for Saab’s brand new Gripen E, they are likely to end up unused, unless a new deal is reached.
One possibility is to use these extra 14 aircraft as a replacement for crashed Gripen jets.