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Sweden offers Gripen to Croatia

Oct. 11, 2012 at 2:41 PM

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Oct. 11 (UPI) -- Swedish Defense and Export Agency FMX, has offered a package deal to Croatia for acquisition of Saab's multi-role Gripen fighter.

The deal offered this week is for eight Gripen C/D aircraft, logistics support and training for Croatian and technicians. It also includes a financing arrangement and industrial cooperation provision through Saab.

"We are pleased to present this offer which has been prepared in close collaboration with Croatia," said Peter Gothe, deputy director general of FXM. "The system has excellent capabilities to protect a country's airspace and to participate in international missions.

"It (the Gripen) fulfills NATO requirements for interoperability. Gripen is one of the most cutting edge fighters in the world while being efficient and robust with low lifecycle costs at the same time."

The Gripen is a single-engine fighter with a maximum speed of 1,372 miles per hour at altitude. Its combat radius is 500 miles and its maximum ceiling is 50,000 feet. Thailand, South Africa, Hungary and the Czech Republic -- as well as Sweden -- fly the aircraft.

"In order to ensure that the Croatian air force remains operative without interruption when its current MiG-21s are decommissioned, Sweden offers a solution where the Gripen C/D aircraft can be operative as soon as within one year after a contract is signed," says Jerry Lindbergh, program director for Croatia at FXM.

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