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.
On 24 October 2015, Sweden announced its Gripen C/D bid for Croatia’s fighter replacement requirement, following a request for information from the Croatian Ministry of Defence in June for between 8 and 12 new-build aircraft to replace Croatia’s fleet of MiG-21bis aircraft. The LTDP would run from 2015 to 2024 and was scheduled to have funding available for a replacement aircraft in 2019. On 29 March 2018, the Croatian Government chose Israel’s bid of 12 F-16C/D Barak 2020 fighters over the Gripen; this sale was halted in January 2019 after the US failed to approve Israel’s sale of the modified aircraft to Croatia. Saab is again considering Croatia’s requirements.
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.