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Gripen more expensive than expected

The Swedish Armed Forces will have to cut back on billions of kronor by next year if they want to afford putting the new super jet JAS Gripen into production, according to a report by national broadcaster Sveriges Radio (SR). The military in March supported an earlier proposition voted through in the Riksdag that Sweden should develop up to ten of the E/F model Jas. But according to SR, the army and the government in May received a cost prediction from the Saab Defence Group, a figure reportedly way above what was expected. In January, SR reported that the expected price tag on the development of the new super jet would reach the vicinity of 32-33 billion kronor ($4.7-4.8 billion), but this figure has allegedly since risen significantly, according to the broadcaster. The Saab JAS 39 Gripen (English: Griffin) is a lightweight single-engine multirole fighter manufactured by the Swedish aerospace company Saab. It was designed to replace the Saab 35 Draken and 37 Viggen in the Swedish Air Force. The Gripen features delta wings and canards, as well as relaxed stability design and fly-by-wire technology.

gripen

In 1979, the Swedish government began development studies for an aircraft capable of fighter, attack and reconnaissance missions to replace the Saab 35 Draken and 37 Viggen. One of Saab’s designs was chosen, and was developed into the JAS 39. Comparatively small relative to similar fighters, the Gripen has a top speed of Mach 2. Eight hardpoints allow it to carry various bombs and missiles, supplemented by the 27 mm Mauser BK-27 cannon. Its GE F404-derived Volvo-Flygmotor RM12 produces more than 80 kilonewtons (18,000 lbf) of thrust with afterburner, giving the aircraft a thrust-to-weight ratio of 0.97. Beset by early problems with its avionics during flight testing, during which a prototype was lost, the aircraft entered service in 1997. Saab has since cooperated with other aerospace companies in marketing the aircraft internationally, and has achieved moderate success in Central Europe, South Africa and Southeast Asia. More than 264 Gripens have been delivered or ordered as of 2011

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