Warplanes: Gripen Abides


Sweden “recently” announced another export customer for its JAS 39E Gripen jet fighter. This time it was Brazil, which ordered 36 aircraft. This is the largest export order so far. Most of the other five export customers received only 14 aircraft, and often on lease, not purchase. Brazil is buying the Gripens for $150 million each (including spares, training and support). The Brazil sale might still be cancelled, but that appears unlikely. Some Brazilian pilots are already on their way to Sweden for training. Since the JAS 39E won’t enter service until 2018, Brazil will lease eight JAS 39Cs for training.

One recent (2013) sale of 22 Gripens was subsequently cancelled. This was a real disappointment because that sale came after a very contentious and expensive competition involving the Gripen, the French Rafale, and the Anglo-German (mainly) Eurofighter. Most of the secret evaluations of the three fighters were leaked to the media and provided some interesting insights on all three aircraft.

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