Ukraine is preparing to operate the JAS 39 Gripen, courtesy of the training Sweden will provide to its pilots, thereby bolstering its air defense without anticipating an imminent conflict with Russia.so Is it possible that Ukraine will soon fly the JAS 39 Gripen?
Sweden Prepares Ukrainian Pilots for the JAS 39 Gripen through Fighter Training
The previous week signaled a new dawn in the Sweden-Ukraine alliance, with Stockholm promising additional assistance to Kyiv, culminating in twelve aid pledges. Last but not least, training in the mastery of the formidable JAS 39 Gripen fighter aircraft.
In response to a request from Ukrainian forces seeking to increase the efficacy of their air defense with modern air combat systems, the Swedish Ministry of Defense assured that its military entourage would undertake the noble mission of instructing Ukrainian Eagles in the JAS 39.
The formidable JAS 39 Gripen, a symbol of Swedish military engineering, becomes the subject of research and may one day be added to the Ukrainian air force.
From Ammunition to Machinery: Sweden Strengthens Ukraine’s Defense
The development of the JAS 39 Gripen is only one aspect of Sweden’s contribution. It has provided Ukraine with lethal Archer 155mm self-propelled howitzers, Leopard 2 (Stridsvagn 122) tanks, CV90 (or Stridsfordon 90) infantry fighting vehicles, and RBS 70 MANPADS systems.
Kyiv has long desired the F-16 Fighting Falcon, but the JAS 39 Gripen is superior in both ease of maintenance and costs to operate compared to its more popular counterpart. The fighter’s design allows it to take off and land on runways as narrow as 16 meters and as short as 500 meters, with the help of its ailerons, which increase the plane’s angle of attack and hence its lift at lower speeds.
The Gripen has evolved over three generations, being equipped with state-of-the-art digital technology, radar and navigation systems, as well as having 10 weapon hardpoints, allowing it to carry a variety of deadly devices, from missiles and rockets to bombs.
Implementation Challenges: Obstacles in the Path of the JAS 39 Gripen
However, there are a number of obstacles that must be overcome before Ukraine can receive any JAS 39 Gripen fighter jets. Sweden does not have any ready-to-deploy military forces at the moment. These military hardware items are not mass-produced like automobiles; manufacturing is lengthy, and no inventory units are available.
Sweden is unlikely to provide Ukraine access to its own fleet of fighter jets. It would take years for the first planes to arrive, even if he promised to furnish them. We may run into logistical issues with parts supply and training.
Saab, the plane’s maker, has struggled to find international buyers. The solution could lie with the Czech Air Force, where some JAS 39 Gripen are in service. The lease for these fighters expires in 2027, and while Sweden has hinted that the Czechs could keep the Gripens for free, a deal could be made for the in-service planes to be shipped to Ukraine.
Operational Future: The JAS 39 Gripen Remains at the Forefront
Last year, Saab received a 500 million Swedish kronor ($52 million) contract from the Swedish Defense Materiel Administration to provide maintenance services for the fighters. Under the terms of the contract, Saab is committed to enhancing the JAS 39’s ability to maintain its operational relevance into the next decade and to offer cost-effective solutions for its maintenance over a longer period.
Thus, the JAS 39 Gripen, despite the difficulties, continues to position itself as a key aerial machine for Ukraine. Pending further developments, Ukraine remains on track to master this fighter, once again proving its resilience and adaptability in the changing theater of military defense.