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Saab to upgrade Swedish Air Force's Gripen fighters

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The Gripen multi-role combat aircraft. A Saab Photo

STOCKHOLM (BNS): The Swedish Defence Ministry has awarded the domestic Saab Group a $280 million contract to upgrade the Gripen fleet of fighter aircraft operating in the Swedish Air Force.

The deal, spanned for a period of four years, will enhance operational effectiveness of the fighters by upgrading countermeasures and communication systems.

The entire fleet of aircraft will also be equipped with advanced weapons and new improved radar systems with increased range, Saab said.

The order also includes other measures to further reduce the operating costs, based on experience gathered from more than 130,000 flight hours. Improvements are also being introduced to reduce the noise and emissions from test runs during engine maintenance, the company said.

Gripen is a multi-role fighter aircraft capable of carrying out a range of air-to-air and air-to-surface missions. It was inducted in the Swedish Air Force in 1997. The Air Force at present has a total of 204 such fighters in its arsenal.

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