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On 16 December 2022, Saab announced that they had been contracted by the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) to upgrade Sweden’s JAS 39 Gripen C/D multirole fighter aircraft. The order is valued at approximately SEK 3.5 Bn (EUR 317.6 M) is slated to take place from 2023-2029. The contract also includes options for FMV to place additional orders for capability enhancements during 2023. Saab did not state the total quantity of aircraft to be upgraded under the programme.

The enhancements include a new version of the RM12 engine to improve flight performance, a modernised avionics suite to enable rapid software upgrades, an improved electronic warfare (EW) system which is understood to refer to Saab’s Arexis suite, as well as an upgrade to the radar to improve detection and tracking range, with the latter understood to refer to the Mk. 4 version of Saab’s PS-05/A radar. This variant has been claimed to offer a 150% detection range increase and improved detection of low-radar cross-section (RCS) targets. Overall, these enhancements will provide Sweden with a more effective fighter aircraft to keep pace with modern threats.

Saab stated that the upgrade would also enable better interoperability between Gripen C/D and Gripen E, through upgrades to support systems and data links. The company noted that interoperability is a requirement for Sweden, as both platforms are due to remain in service with the country for many years.

MC