Philippines looking to acquire Saab JAS 39 Gripen fighters

The Swedish group Saab is reportedly in a strong position to potentially secure a deal with the Philippines for its Jas Gripen fighter jets, as the Southeast Asian country seeks to enhance its military capabilities. This information was relayed by Ekot following an interview with the Philippine Defense Minister.

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Philippines looking to acquire Saab JAS 39 Gripen 925 001 The Saab JAS 39 Gripen is a multi-role fighter aircraft, developed and manufactured by the Swedish company Saab AB  (Picture source: Wikimedia)

In a recent exclusive interview with Ekot, Philippine Defense Minister Gilbert Teodoro highlighted the promising prospects of the Sweden-manufactured aircraft for the Philippine nation's needs. He stressed the urgency of deciding on the most suitable military solution for the Philippines, noting the strong likelihood of choosing the Swedish Jas Gripen.

Philippine Defense Minister Teodoro noted the high potential of Swedish military technology, including the Jas Gripen. The aircraft is considered a fitting choice for the Philippines, characterized by its extensive coastal and island geography similar to Sweden's.

The JAS 39 Gripen is a multi-role fighter aircraft, developed and manufactured by the Swedish company Saab AB. This project was led by the development consortium Industrigruppen JAS, in collaboration with the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV). Production of the JAS 39 Gripen began in 1987 and continues to this day, with approximately 300 units built as of 2023. The Gripen performed its first flight on December 9, 1988.

The JAS 39 Gripen was officially introduced into the Swedish Air Force on June 9, 1996, demonstrating its effectiveness and reliability as a key component of air defense. Since its introduction, it has remained a cornerstone of the Swedish Air Force, while gaining international recognition. Outside of Sweden, it is also used by several other air forces, including those of Brazil, South Africa, and Hungary.

The Philippine Armed Forces' modernization initiative includes the acquisition of new fighter jets, with the Swedish Saab facing competition from the American Lockheed Martin and its F-16 jets. Mats Lundberg, associated with Saab's Gripen campaigns in the Philippines, highlighted the significant capabilities of the Gripen, particularly suited to the country's geographical layout.

Amid rising tensions in the South China Sea and frequent confrontations with Chinese vessels, the Philippines has strengthened its defense ties. Recent collaborations include deepened alliances with Australia and the United States, and a new defense agreement with Sweden.

Minister Teodoro praised Sweden's long-standing expertise in self-sufficient defense production and various technologies, anticipating extensive future cooperation with the Scandinavian country.