Swedish Company SAAB offers Gripen C-D fighter aircraft to Croatia

According to a press release published on September 9, 2020, the Swedish Company SAAB submitted its proposal to deliver 12 new Gripen C/D fighter aircraft to Croatia.

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Swedish Company SAAB offers Gripen C D fighter aircraft to Croatia 925 001 SAAB Gripen C multirole fighter aircraft. (Picture source SAAB)

Representatives of the Swedish Defence Material Administration (FMV) and the Swedish Embassy in Croatia submitted the government-to-government proposal of 12 new Gripen C/D fighter aircraft to the Croatian authorities. Parallel to Sweden’s proposal, Saab is offering a tailored made strategic cooperation package that will boost the Croatian defence industry, and benefit Croatian security by building a long-term partnership with strategic sectors.

“Sweden and Saab are offering a comprehensive and long-term solution for Croatian homeland security that will protect Croatia’s people and borders for decades to come. If Croatia chooses Gripen, Saab is ready to transfer know-how and technology and establish a Regional Aeronautical & Support Service Centre in Croatia. This would develop long term cooperation with local defence industry as well as the academic sector, generating some 500 high-tech jobs,” says Jonas Hjelm, Senior Vice President and head of Saab business area Aeronautics.

The JAS 39 Gripen is a light single-engine multirole fighter aircraft manufactured by the Swedish aerospace company Saab. The company rolled out the first Gripen on 26 April 1987, marking the company's 50th anniversary, and on 9 December 1988, the first prototype (serial number 39-1) took its 51-minute maiden flight with pilot Stig Holmström. It entered operational service with the Swedish Air Force in 1997. 

The original Gripen fighter aircraft was improved to the standard Gripen C/D. The JAS 39C Gripen was introduced in 2002 featuring some improvements such as air refueling, color displays, oxygen generators, strengthened wing structures, software improvements and new external hard-point types. The Gripen C is a single-seat fighter aircraft while the Gripen is a two-seat variant. 

The Gripen can be armed with AIM-9 Sidewinder or IRIS-T missiles for short-range air-to-air engagements, for multiple medium-range engagements the AMRAAM missile can be employed. RBS-15, Maverick and DWS 39 weapons are available for air-to-surface missions.