The Sweden Defence Material Administration (FMV) gave a $76 million order to Saab to remain a supplier for the continuing support and upgrade of the Gripen aircraft that Sweden leases to the Czech Republic for another 12 years, the company said on Thursday.

The Gripen aircraft has been in service with the Czech Republic since 2005. In May 2014, Sweden and the Czech Republic formed a new agreement to extend this partnership for 12 more years. This will allow the Czech Republic to operate 14 Gripen C/D aircraft until 2027.

A Gripen aircraft. Photo: Saab.
A Gripen aircraft. Photo: Saab.

The government-to-government agreement terms include Saab acting as a supplier to FMV, which then delivers the aircraft to the Czech Republic.

This agreement includes hardware modification of the aircraft and upgrade of system functionality, delivering a continuing increase in capabilities for the customer, Saab noted. Also included are several years of support for the Czech aircraft by FMV. Development and adaptation of new mission software for Czech requirements is beginning immediately, Saab noted.

Aircraft modifications are to be implemented within about one year.

“The Czech Republic’s decision is further evidence of Gripen’s high capability and great cost-efficiency. It proves again how well the aircraft stands up in global competition. As we develop the next generation of Gripen for Sweden and Brazil, we continue to see great international interest in Gripen C/D,” Lennart Sindahl, deputy CEO and head of Saab’s business area Aeronautics, said in a statement.

Gripen is currently used for air defense in Sweden, South Africa, Hungary, Thailand and the Czech Republic.