No Gripen for Switzerland, but Czech Republic confirms continued support


A decision by the Swiss Parliament to acquire 22 Gripen E has been overturned by a referendum on the funding law for the jet fighters in the landlocked European country.

“The ‘no’ result means the Gripen E procurement process in Switzerland stops,’ Saab said in a statement adding the overall Gripen programme continues “according to plan”.

This includes production of 60 Gripen E aircraft for the Swedish Air Force remains ongoing with deliveries scheduled for 2018.

At the same time Saab announced a new Gripen lease agreement with the governments of the Czech Republic and Sweden.

This will see the Czech Republic continue to operate 14 Gripen C/D for another 12 years until at least 2027.

Gripen has been in service with the Czech Air Force since 2005, with the current lease expiring 2015. The new agreement extends the partnership between Sweden and the Czech Republic for a further 12 years and the Czech Republic will continue to operate 14 Gripen C/D until at least 2027.
“With this agreement, the Czech Republic is taking a long-term strategic decision to continue operating Gripen and ensuring the continued development of its national capability. This is further proof of the confidence in Gripen and its defence capacity,” Lennart Sindahl, Senior Executive Vice President and Head of Saab’s business area Aeronautics, said.

Gripen is currently in service with Sweden, South Africa, Hungary, Thailand and the Czech Republic. The Empire Test Pilot School (ETPS) in the United Kingdom also uses Gripen in its training programme for future test pilots.

Saab president and chief executive Hakan Buskhe said the Swiss democratic process was “respected” and the company would not comment on the referendum result.
“After the selection in 2011 hundreds of business relationships were created through the Swiss Industrial Participation Programme with regard to the Gripen E procurement.