- The Swedish government has decided to commission the Swedish Armed Forces to investigate the conditions for sending Gripen fighter jets to Ukraine.
- The government is particularly interested in learning how a handover would affect Sweden’s own defense capabilities, and how quickly Sweden could get new Gripen jets as compensation.
- Another important issue is the training of Ukrainian pilots and other ground personnel. The Swedish Armed Forces would need to provide this training, which would take time and resources.
The Swedish government is considering sending Gripen fighter jets to Ukraine, according to a report by Ekot, the Swedish public radio news program. The decision is likely to be made as early as Thursday, after a meeting of the defense committee.
Ukraine has requested a division of Gripen jets, or 16-18 aircraft. The Swedish Armed Forces will now be tasked with analyzing how this would affect Sweden’s own defense capabilities. There are currently around 90 usable Gripen jets in the Swedish inventory.
The government is also interested in learning how quickly a new Gripen jet could be ready to replace any aircraft that is sent to Ukraine. There are a number of finished hulls at Saab in Linköping, some of which are reportedly empty and others with equipment in them. The government wants to know how quickly these could be made ready for use and how much it would cost.
Another issue is the training of Ukrainian pilots, mechanics, and other ground personnel. The Swedish Armed Forces would need to provide this training, which would take time and resources.
Finally, Sweden would need to obtain permission from the United States, as a large part of the equipment in the Gripen comes from the US.
The Swedish Armed Forces is expected to submit its report on the feasibility of sending Gripen jets to Ukraine at the beginning of November. The government will then make a decision on whether to send the jets, and if so, how many.
It is important to note that there are a number of political factors that could affect the decision. For example, Turkey has blocked Sweden’s accession to NATO, and it is unlikely that Sweden would send Gripen jets to Ukraine without Turkey’s approval.
Overall, the decision of whether or not to send Gripen jets to Ukraine is a complex one with a number of factors to consider. The Swedish government will need to weigh the potential benefits of sending the jets against the potential risks and costs.