Sweden considers giving Ukraine Gripen fighter jets, announces new military aid
A JAS 39 Gripen fighter jet. Photo: EPA

The Swedish armed forces are expected to report, by 6 November, on the potential for sending Jas Gripen jets to Ukraine after the government asked them to assess the issue, the country’s defence minister Pal Jonson said on Friday, Reuters reports.

Mr Jonson also announced that Sweden will send Ukraine a new military support package worth 2.2 billion crowns (USD 199 million),  consisting mainly of artillery ammunition.

The new military aid package will be Sweden’s 14th to Ukraine since Russia’s full-scale invasion, taking the total value of the Nordic country's such aid to just over 22 billion crowns.

"We need to design our support so that it's long term and sustainable. It is now important that more countries step up to support Ukraine," the official was quoted as saying.

Last month, Mr Jonson said several Ukrainian pilots had successfully tested Swedish JAS Gripen fighter jets. The Gripen fleet in Sweden is up to a hundred aircraft.

The Saab JAS 39 Gripen is a fourth-generation Swedish multi-role fighter aircraft. Development work began at Saab AB in 1979, and the aircraft took off for the first time in 1988.

The fighter has been exported to the Czech Republic, Hungary, South Africa, Thailand and Brazil, and has taken part in the international military operation in Libya, patrolling and conducting reconnaissance.

The Saab JAS 39 Gripen crew can consist of one or two pilots. It is armed with a 1×27 mm Mauser BK-27 cannon with a 120-mm round ammunition, and can carry air-to-air or air-to-surface missiles.

The first Swedish fighter jets could be deployed in Ukraine by mid-summer 2024, local newspaper Dagens Nyheter reported last month.