09/01/2014 Defence IQ Press
When Switzerland voted No in the referendum to sanction the acquisition of Saab’s Gripen as its next generation fighter jet, it posed a problem for Sweden.
The two countries had agreed a co-financing deal to buy the JAS 39 Gripen E to share development costs but when the Swiss public voted against the proposed spending of public money, Sweden needed to decide if it would go ahead.
According to defence minister Karin Enström, Sweden will continue with its plan to procure the latest version of the Gripen as a result of heightened regional tension and political instability.
"Global developments and Russian action in Ukraine, with troops in the country, underline the importance of us pursuing the acquisition of the next generation fighter aircraft," Enström told public broadcaster SVT.
"This is also about our security and defence capability in the future," she added.
The 60 Gripen jets – of which Switzerland were meant to buy 22 – are due for delivery in 2018 according to reports.