"It will be a good option": Ihnat reveals details about Ukrainian pilots' test flights on Gripen fighter jets
Ukraine's allies are considering providing Ukraine with Swedish Gripen fighter jets in addition to the F-16. The pilots of the Ukrainian Armed Forces have already tested these aircraft, but have not yet been trained on them.
Yurii Ihnat, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force, said this during a TV marathon on December 26."The main combat aircraft will be the F-16... Gripen is also being considered. The Swedish side can transfer to Ukraine the number of Gripen that it has today... If a decision is made, it will be a good option for us," he said.
According to him, Stockholm is considering developing a newer version of the Gripen for its army. Therefore, it is likely that Ukraine will be able to get these fighter jets.
"During his first visit to the Kingdom of Sweden, the Air Force Commander left specialists there during the meeting to investigate the possibility of providing Ukraine with these aircraft and conduct some test flights on these aircraft to understand how it works and provide a full understanding on whether we can or cannot get this equipment," Ihnat said.
At the same time, he added that training on Gripen jets will begin only after the decision on the delivery is announced, and consultations are currently underway.
As you know, the JAS 39 Gripen and the F-16 F-16V Block 70/72 belong to the same class of light single-engine aircraft of the 4+ generation. The Gripen is inferior to the F-16 in terms of maximum weight: 16.5 tons versus 21.7 tons, while the flight characteristics are almost identical.
However, the JAS 39 Gripen is capable of operating on insufficiently equipped runways, even on highways. This feature facilitates the maintenance process.
As reported by OBOZ.UA:
- On December 10, Yurii Ihnat said that Ukrainian pilots have already tested Gripen aircraft and that the transfer is possible if Sweden finally decides to develop a newer version of the fighter jet.
- The British government said that the first group of Ukrainian pilots had been trained by the British Air Force. Now they have gone to Denmark to fly F-16 fighter jets.
- According to Yurii Ihnat, the first batch of F-16s to be sent to Ukraine will be modified. The partners improved them "to the best of their ability".
- The first 18 F-16 fighter jets are being prepared for delivery to Ukraine in the Netherlands.