The Swedish Armed Forces wants to upgrade Gripen

JAS Gripen will sat­is­fy the Swedish Armed Forces’ oper­a­tional needs at least until 2040 and the sys­tem should con­sti­tute the core of Swedish air defences. Swe­den needs at least 60–80 air­craft.

JAS 39 Gripen takes off from Sigonel­la Air­base as a part of Oper­a­tion Uni­fied Pro­tec­tor.
Pho­tog­ra­ph­er: Johan Lundahl/Swedish Armed Forces
Click to enlarge

This is the con­clu­sion of the Armed Forces’ analy­sis which is to be sub­mit­ted to the Gov­ern­ment today (Feb 29). In the work of devel­op­ing alter­na­tives, dif­fer­ent con­fig­u­ra­tions – mod­els – of Gripen have been test­ed in exten­sive sim­u­la­tions and oper­a­tive games – both against known and pro­ject­ed threat sce­nar­ios.

The capa­bil­i­ties enhance­ment of Sweden’s com­bat air­craft sys­tem should com­mence in 2020 and it is esti­mat­ed that it will take ten years. A pre­req­ui­site to be able to man­age its financ­ing is that it is car­ried out with at least one strate­gic part­ner coun­try. “Dis­cus­sions will soon be ini­ti­at­ed regard­ing costs. It would there­fore be wrong to dis­cuss open­ly how much we have planned that it should cost,” says Sverk­er Göran­son, the Supreme Com­man­der.

The upgrad­ed JAS 39 Gripen will have a larg­er hull and a more pow­er­ful engine. This is to allow more weapons and more fuel, which in turn will pro­vide greater pow­er and endurance. The analy­sis also sug­gests a more qual­i­fied radar sys­tem and an enhanced warn­ing and counter-mea­sure sys­tems.

The upgrade of JAS Gripen is nec­es­sary in order to be oper­a­tional­ly rel­e­vant and to ensure that our air defences in the long term main­tain their posi­tion rel­a­tive to the out­side world. In 2011 and so far this year, exten­sive plan­ning work has been car­ried out, for instance the work asso­ci­at­ed with capa­bil­i­ties enhance­ment and the defence struc­ture inquiry. With the results of these analy­ses at hand, work is now under­way to put togeth­er a pro­pos­al for the Armed Forces’ long-term finan­cial require­ments; sup­port doc­u­men­ta­tion which the Armed Forces intends to report on by 2 May.

A sep­a­rate paper to the Gov­ern­ment reports on which logis­ti­cal areas – in accor­dance with the defence struc­ture investigation’s pro­pos­als – will be pre­sent­ed to Försvarets materielverk (Defence Materiel Admin­is­tra­tion – FMV). The oper­a­tions affect­ed are essen­tial­ly pur­chas­ing, admin­is­tra­tive sup­port, sup­ply and engi­neer­ing ser­vices. In total approx­i­mate­ly 1500 employ­ees in the Armed Forces will be affect­ed. The pur­pose of the trans­fer is to save mon­ey which can be used in oper­a­tional activ­i­ties.

The pro­pos­al sub­mit­ted is a joint pro­pos­al from the Armed Forces and FMV. The Armed Forces’ sup­port doc­u­men­ta­tion shows that in this major change, as with oth­ers, there are obvi­ous uncer­tain­ties as to when these sav­ings will actu­al­ly mate­ri­alise and how large they will final­ly be. The trans­for­ma­tion of the Armed Forces which is called restruc­tur­ing has now been start­ed. In essence, this means that all employ­ees will leave their posi­tions and their skills will be test­ed in terms of oper­a­tional defence force require­ments. Most employ­ees will keep their jobs and will remain work­ing where they work today, but if there are sur­plus­es in terms of skills in any par­tic­u­lar loca­tion, it may lead to a new plac­ing at anoth­er loca­tion in Swe­den.

From a finan­cial point of view, the Armed Forces is in bal­ance until 2015, pro­vid­ed that grant allo­ca­tions are utilised and that the sav­ings asso­ci­at­ed with the defence struc­ture inquiry are real­ized. In peri­ods when the num­ber of assigned sol­diers and sailors is being reduced, mon­ey needs to be trans­ferred from the fund for inter­na­tion­al oper­a­tions to allow for nec­es­sary exer­cis­es and manoeu­vres. The plan­ning is based there­fore on SEK 300 mil­lion being trans­ferred from the grant allo­ca­tion for inter­na­tion­al oper­a­tions to the grant allo­ca­tion for unit activ­i­ties for the years 2014 and 2015.

Swedish Armed Forces

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