The JAS-39 Gripen: Sweden’s 4+ Generation Wild Card

March 13/24: Swedish fighter jets marked an important moment in their integration with NATO on March 11. Following Sweden’s official accession to the alliance on March 7, Swedish Air Force Gripen multirole fighters participated in their first visual identification (VID) mission as part of the NATO Air Policing mission over the Baltic Sea region. This mission involved Swedish Gripens flying alongside German and Belgian fighter jets. Demonstrating their operational readiness, the Swedish jets were scrambled twice on March 11th to identify and intercept approaching Russian military aircraft.


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South African JAS-39D (click to view full) As a neutral country with a long history of providing for its own defense against all comers, Sweden also has a long tradition of building excellent high-performance fighters with a distinctive look. From the long-serving Saab-35 Draken (“Dragon,” 1955-2005) to the Mach 2, canard-winged Saab-37 Viggen (“Thunderbolt,” 1971-2005), […]

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