TechThey'll send fighters to Ukraine. But there is one condition

They'll send fighters to Ukraine. But there is one condition

Swedish JAS 39 Gripen.
Swedish JAS 39 Gripen.
Images source: © Public domain

6:36 AM EDT, October 10, 2023, updated: 2:24 AM EDT, October 11, 2023

The authorities of Sweden are eager to send JAS 39 Gripen fighters to Ukraine. However, there is one "but". The condition of support is the Swedes' membership in NATO. Stockholm makes the matter clear, but so far it does not talk about the exact number of machines.

"Support in the form of JAS 39 Gripen would be dependent on whether Sweden becomes a NATO member" - we read in the government press release of Stockholm. The Swedes openly talk about plans to send more equipment to Ukraine and remind that the current total value of aid to Kyiv has reached approximately 2 billion dollars.

Despite the fact that neighboring Finland joined NATO earlier this year, Sweden's membership application is being delayed by Turkey, and it is precisely this presence in NATO that is a condition for the delivery of Gripens to Kiev - Reuters reports.

Key equipment for Ukrainians

There is no doubt that JAS 39 fighters are "definitely the most suitable candidate" for combat with Russia - according to a report prepared by the British institute Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in 2022. The same document also states that Gripens constitute equipment that allows achieving air superiority and minimizes the risk of missile attacks from Russia's long-range systems.

Let's remember that the JAS 39 Gripen is a multi-tasking fourth-generation fighter, produced by the SAAB concern. It is capable of speeding up to speeds exceeding 1,242 miles/h (2 Ma) and operates at an altitude of up to 59,055 ft. Production of Gripens started in 1987. Since then, the machines have undergone several upgrades, which have improved the engine and electronics.

In the context of the advantages of Gripens, one of them is the ability to take off from short distances. The JAS 39 is capable of getting airborne after covering about 0.50 miles - and that on temporarily prepared terrain, so for example on a stretch of road. Compared to American F-16s, Gripens are cheaper to operate. Many unique features of these machines distinguish them from other aircraft. There is no shortage of opinions that in combat conditions they can dominate in certain situations even over the F-35.

The armament of the Swedish SAAB machines includes the Mauser BK-27 caliber 27 mm gun and suspended missiles. These can include the AIM-9 Sidewinder, IRIS-T, AIM-120 AMRAAM or AGM-65 Maverick. There is also the option to install Mark 82 bombs.

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