Sweden should buy 10 additional Gripen E fighters, and budget more training to improve its defenses, Swedish defense minister Karin Enstrom said in the wake of the Crimea crisis. Swiss MoD photo)
April 04, 2014 defense-aerospace.com
(Source: Radio Sweden; published April 4, 2014)
Defense Minister Calls for More JAS Gripen to Counter Russian Threat
Sweden's Defense Mininster Karin Enstrom says the military should get a total of 70 new JAS Gripen combat aircraft, ten more than Parliament had earlier decided.
Enstrom’s comments came in the wake of the crisis in Ukraine and also of widely publicized Russian military flight incidents last year, when Moscow attack aircraft flew practice missions over Sweden.
Those flights and the ongoing insecurity in Ukraine has alarmed Swedish officials.
"Russia's actions in and around Ukraine has led to uncertainty in Europe. What happened in the past has made it really necessary to strengthen Sweden's defense," Enstrom told the Swedish daily newspaper, Dagens Nyheter.
Parliament had already agreed to purchase 60 Jas Gripen's, which are made and designed by Saab AB, but Enstrom believes that 10 more should be bought.
Any purchase would be preceded by proper procurement and pricing protocols to ensure fairness and transparency, she said.