Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) has extended the Gripen support and maintenance services contract with Saab. The order is valued at approximately $183m (Skr1.6bn) from 1 April this year until 31 December next year. The contract will see the delivery of support and maintenance services crucial for the Gripen fighter jet’s aviation operations. Work under the contract will be executed at the company’s Swedish facilities in Linköping, Gothenburg, Arboga, Järfälla and Östersund. Furthermore, technical system support, publications, spare parts, repairs, ground support equipment and pilot equipment are included in the contract.
The Saab JAS 39 Gripen is a light single-engine multirole fighter aircraft manufactured by the Swedish aerospace company Saab AB. The Gripen has a delta wing and canard configuration with relaxed stability design and fly-by-wire flight controls. Various versions have been built, grouped as A-, C- and E-series. Gripen A- and C-series are powered by the GE F404G engine (previously designated Volvo RM12) and the E-series is powered by the GE F414G engine, and has a top speed of Mach 2. Later aircraft are modified for NATO interoperability standards and to undertake air to air refuelling.
Gripen aircraft, developed by Saab, was first flown in December 1988 and entered operational service with the Swedish Air Force in 1997. The Swedish Air Force placed a total order for 204 Gripens in three batches. The first delivery occurred on 8 June 1993, when 39102 was handed over to the Flygvapnet during a ceremony at Linköping; the last of the first batch was handed over on 13 December 1996. The Air Force received its first Batch II example on 19 December 1996. Instead of the fixed-price agreement of Batch I, Batch II aircraft were paid as a “target price” concept: any cost underruns or overruns would be split between FMV and Saab.