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Saab undertaking Gripen upgrades

Dec. 29, 2011 at 12:11 PM

LINKOPING, Sweden, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- Swedish defense company Saab is to conduct studies on future enhancements to its Gripen, multi-role combat jets flown by the Swedish air force.

The studies are part of a larger award from the Swedish Defense Materiel Administration worth nearly $73 million, the company said.

Under the overall contract, Saab is to perform continual maintenance and modernization of the C and D models of the Gripen flown by Sweden. Included will be technical support, product maintenance, flight testing and flight simulator operation.

Saab said the work, to be performed early next year, is to ensure operational capability of the aircraft and its systems.

Details on what Gripen systems are to be modernized weren't given.

The Gripen is a single-engine fighter with a maximum speed of 1,372 mph at altitude. Although it is primarily a single-seat aircraft, it has a two-seat variant.

In addition to Sweden, countries flying the Gripen are Thailand, Hungary, the Czech Republic and South Africa.

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