OFF-TOPIC: 22 Saabs sold to Switzerland today

Delivery is not yet set for the 22 Saab 39 Gripen planes that will be part of the Swiss Air Force.

Great for Sweden and the Saab brand. Will Hirsch make a fighter Saab now?

Here is Saab AB´s press release

The Swiss government has decided to select Gripen as its future multirole fighter aircraft for the Swiss Air Force.

Given that Switzerland is known globally for applying highest procurement standards and requesting state-of-the art technologies, Saab is both proud and delighted that Gripen has been chosen as the Swiss Air Force’s future multirole fighter aircraft.

“The Swiss type-selection confirms that Saab is a market-leader in the defence and security industry and that Gripen is a world-class fighter system that provides the best value for money”, says Håkan Buskhe, President and CEO Saab.

The Gripen programme will create a long-term partnership betweenSwitzerlandandSweden. Saab assuresSwitzerlanda long-term strategic industrial co-operation aimed at creating sustainable high tech jobs, transferring technology and generating export business.

Saab stands prepared to start negotiations and await the next steps of the process.

Gripen is in service with the Swedish, Czech Republic, Hungarian, South African and Royal Thai Air Forces. The UK Empire Test Pilots’ School (ETPS) is operating Gripen as its advanced fast jet platform for test pilots worldwide. Saab is also delivering successful industrial co-operation programmes in Czech Republic, Hungary and South Africa.

33 thoughts on “OFF-TOPIC: 22 Saabs sold to Switzerland today”

  1. Did my military service in the air force and worked with JAS39. Great fighter.There are many details that could be carried over to Saab vehicles,such as the data-stick with route planing and route-recording. Would be great to have a small USB together with IQon full of gadgets =)

      • Really!! What a nice suprise Tim! I was also at F7 in HK-02. Actually i remember seeing a guy here at SU (he use to help running the SU events,fixing with the computers etc) that was in the HK-01 troops. I have also seen him at Saab (it think he worked on the assembly line).

        Good to know =)

      • I knew you would chime in on this thread 74Sting =)
        Oh, that POS has some is quite advanced radar-systems (if active) ongoing, hasn’t it =)

        As much as the discussion going on in US with the F22 Vs competitor debate,the very holds true here in Sweden.Depending on the situation,ie dogfight,weapons carried,numbers of planes up,active vs non active systems etc i *think* the outcome is not always given. But yeah the F22 seems to be a helluva good attack-plane but i am not sure it can carry all the long-distant robots it really needs.For obvious reason you can really comment on the topic, that’s ok =). JAS has some good Datalink system ongoing.

        • I have only ever done a “walk around” on one and while it is impressive, the down time for maintenance (at last report I saw) was quite saddening. The F-22 has been plagued with TCTO’s and One Time Inspections some as soon as they hit the fleet. I wont even comment about the pilot that needed to be “cut” out when the canopy system failed on a jet that was less than 3 years old. Maybe at 36 Im getting old and cranky… and miss my A-10’s.

          The F22, Yeah, It’s capable, but so was the ME262.

          • Yeah i heard about that maintenance “issue”. Thanks for the story =) Then i will not tell you about all the non-conventional tools i used during some refueling=) But overall maintenance, like theSandySaab said, maintenance and high availability if one of the good points.

            • Oh… after 17+ years working on the A-10 and a few years on the F-16… I have performed some maintenance not found in any tech manual!. Allow me to say one thing that I am dang proud of.
              When I was “on location” in a sandy area a few years ago, we had and maintained a FMC ( fully mission capable) rate for all A-10s on station for over a week… something never done before. As a unit of “weekend warriors” we were pretty darn proud of that.

              My specialty was Egress, Loved that job, still love aircraft. Nothing beats the smell of JP8 in the morning.

          • I guess we have an aeronautics subgroup of readers/writers here at SU. Well for anyone doing business up in The Air the only choice is a ground-based Saab.

  2. Good news!
    I lived for 10 years in Switzerland as they decided to buy the FA18, which is a great airplane but a complete overkill for the small European country. I am convinced there were some shady deals/kickbacks when the FA18 deal was signed. I was told by swiss air force personell at the time that the FA18 would probably be used mostly for command functions and less for active theatre duty, and that they would keep the aging F5s as spearheads…(???) The Saab Gripen JAS-39 is perfectly suited for the Swiss environment and will prove itself in the years to come. Saab builds one of the best fighter jets in the world, especially when you count the bang for the buck…
    Congratulations to Saab (Defense) and the Swiss Air-force!

    • Most swiss FA18 ‘s suffer from structural stress and cracks. Reason is The manouver and turn The planes around The Toblerone mountains so much harder than any other Airforce.

  3. One of the main differences is that the Gripen has 1 (one) engine, while both Eurofighter and Fallafel are twin engine fighters. This is a design criteria, but while the 2 latter can limp home on one remaining engine, the cost for purchase, service, operation, size and weight are some major drawbacks. As the rest of the defense world is catching up, Saab still has (probably) the worlds most advanced command and control datalink system, which is integrated in the avionics. Also, as mentioned by Lundin, the Gripen is designed to be robust, truly multi role with high availability and can be turned around by drafted personell without any major engineering background. The fallafel has not been sold to any foreign air-force, and the Eurofighter is a big, heavy and expensive compromise, (just like the € currency)!
    Saab’s (Defense) main problem seems to be that by buying a Gripen you might become friends with the swedish PM at best, buying FA18 will get you friends very high up in US… (possible even a nice kickback on a “Swiss” bank account).

  4. After SU and Swade’s Inside SAAB this is my 3rd favorite site. All you would care to know about the Gripen is there and as far as the competition it’s the best bang for the Krona. The Gripen is a 4.5 Generation Fighter and can go supersonic without afterburners.the F-35 cannot.

    The engine can be replaced in a hour and many countries now have them: Czech Republic; Hungary; South Africa and Thailand. As well as Switzerland, India and Brazil are in play and if you look at the link at the lower right you will see all the other possibilities. This is great news because even though they are separate companies they can tag on name recognition. Look at Hungary.

  5. Great, but why do the neutral Swiss need fighter jets? Oh I remember.. to protect all that stolen bullion in their vaults! 😉

  6. And the Gripen, being currently the best deal for the money if you are in the market for that kind of aircraft, may well be acquired by other NATO countries as well if the Joint Strike Fighter gets cancelled after all. Given the cost overrides, that is not at all such a far-fetched possibility.


  7. RED FLAG is an annual Air Force war exercise, in Nevada, not an air show where some of the world’s best fighter pilots spend a few days in a mock-war. There are about 230 + planes which is as real to war as it gets these pilots come from countries like Britain, Germany, Italy, Sweden and Israel. It is real and very dangerous with dog fights, bombing runs, downed pilots practicing evasion and their rescue. You name it, there are bad guys good guys. It is like top gun on steroids!

    watch the various links to this on You Tube. Sadly the Viggen never came to the USA and the one I was hoping to see at a US museum was scrapped by the Swedish Air Force because of the ridiculous bureaucracy.

  8. My ancestors came from Switzerland (Canton Zurich/Bern) and Baden-Württemberg,I don’t understand why the Swiss put so much attention on their military?? It’s not like everyone wants to harm the Swiss…they’re pretty neutral and lovable people. But….I guess when Hitler and Stalin were raising Hell throughout Europe….maybe it’s not such a bad idea. I guess you never know….I was just over in Switzerland August 2010 (Geneva/Basel/Zurich)….

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