Sweden no longer considering arming Ukraine with Gripen jets

JAS 39 Gripen
JAS 39 Gripen

Ukraine still needs Swedish Gripen fighter jets, despite Stockholm halting the program exploring the feasibility of transferring them to Kyiv, Ukrainian Ambassador to Sweden Andrii Plakhotniuk said on May 29.

The day before, Swedish Defense Minister Pål Jonson announced that Sweden had paused plans to transfer Gripen fighters to Ukraine to focus on helping Kyiv integrate U.S.-made F-16 jets into its air force. According to Jonson, other coalition countries have requested the pause.

Plakhotniuk noted that during Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's visit to Sweden in August 2023, Zelenskyy made it clear that the country is interested in acquiring Gripen aircraft.

"We need Gripen, ammunition, and air defense systems; we need everything to protect the lives of Ukrainians," Svenska Dagbladet quotes the ambassador.

Read also: Sweden to consider sending Gripen jets to Ukraine

On May 29, Sweden announced a new military aid package for Ukraine worth approximately $1.23 billion, its largest since the Russia’s invasion in 2022. The package includes an ASC 890 airborne early warning and control aircraft. The Swedish government believes it will provide Ukraine with "entirely new capabilities in airborne radar reconnaissance and battlefield control against air and sea targets."

The Swedish JAS 39 Gripen jet is cheaper than the F-16 and easier to maintain, but there are much fewer airframes available worldwide.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine