Sweden to Propose Development of a New Fighter Aircraft

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he Swedish government on Tuesday revealed its plans to improve its military capabilities including development of a new fighter jet to replace the JAS 39 Grippen.

“The development of the next generation fighter aircraft will commence,” Swedish Carl Anders Peter Hultqvist said in a statement June 16, without divulging any more details.

Swedish Air Force JAS 39/D combat aircraft will be maintained, as the new fighter JAS 39 E is integrated into the squadrons and becomes operational. This will allow the service to keep six fighter squadrons.

The Army will be reorganized and consist of three mechanized brigades, one smaller motorized brigade and, on the island of Gotland, one mechanized battalion with support elements. Additional ranger, intelligence, security, artillery, engineer, logistics and air defence units will be added.

When it comes to the Navy the existing corvettes will be upgraded with new air-defence missiles. Two new corvettes will be acquired in order to replace two older ones after 2025. One existing submarine will get a mid-life upgrade and therefore the number of submarines will increase from four to five. A new amphibious battalion will be established on the west coast of Sweden.

In 2020, the government will also establish a national cyber security centre. This centre will strengthen Sweden’s ability to prevent, detect and handle antagonistic cyber threats and reduce cyber related vulnerabilities. It will also provide support to private and public actors on how to improve their cyber security and protection against cyber attacks.

In July 2019, Governments of Sweden and the United Kingdom (UK) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop future combat aircraft capabilities and combat aircraft systems. The collaboration offers the opportunity to further insert advanced technologies into JAS 39 Gripen.