Ukrainian pilots test Swedish JAS Gripen fighter jets
Military pilots from Ukraine have successfully completed introductory training on Swedish fighter jets. Defense Minister does not rule out supplying JAS Gripen to the Air Force of Ukraine
Sveriges Radio reported the information, citing a written statement by the Minister of Defense Pål Jonson.
"The familiarization training has been completed, and according to the report I received from the armed forces, the training went well," the head of the ministry said.
The familiarization training reportedly includes test flights on aircraft and simulators, as well as training for ground personnel.
"As we said earlier, we do not rule out sending Gripen to Ukraine. The training experience should now form the basis of ongoing work to clarify the conditions for this," added Mr. Jonson.
Sweden has up to a hundred Gripen fighter jets in its fleet.
For reference. The Saab JAS 39 Gripen is a fourth-generation multi-role fighter jet developed by the Swedish company Saab AB. It was created in 1979 and made its first flight in 1988. The fighter jet has been exported to various countries such as the Czech Republic, Hungary, South Africa, Thailand and Brazil. The Gripen took part in the international military operation in Libya, where it performed patrol and reconnaissance missions. The maximum speed at high altitude is 2,130 km/h, at sea level - 1,225 km/h. The combat range is 700 km (with a payload of 2,000 kg). The Gripen is equipped with a 1×27 mm Mauser BK-27 cannon with a 120-round ammunition.
In May, Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Ruslan Stefanchuk met with Swedish Foreign Minister Jan Knutsson in Sweden and called for the supply of Gripen fighters to Ukraine.
On August 19, during a visit to Sweden, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced that test flights on Gripen aircraft had begun with the participation of Ukrainian pilots. With the Swedish leader, he discussed in detail the future steps for Ukraine to receive these aircraft. However, Sweden says that they need these planes to protect their own territory.
On September 12, it became known that the Swedish government would discuss with the armed forces the supply of JAS 39 Gripen fighter jets to Ukraine, which can carry precision weapons to hit ground and surface targets.