Czech republic chooses Gripen

CZECH REPUBLIC CHOOSES GRIPEN

The Government of the Czech Republic has today announced the selection
of 24 SAAB-BAE SYSTEMS Gripen supersonic, multi-role fighters to replace
its fleet of
Mig 21 fighters and provide the country's national defense and NATO
needs for the next 30 - 40 years.

Subject to the successful conclusion of contract negotiations, which
begin immediately, the first Czech Air Force Gripen squadron will be
operational by end 2005. Gripen for the Czech Republic will be fully
NATO compatible and interoperable. It will support all NATO priorities
for standardization of doctrines and procedures, including NATO standard
datalink communications plus an air-to-air refueling system.

Welcoming the Czech government's decision, Julian Scopes, regional
managing director Europe with Gripen partner BAE SYSTEMS said: "We have
worked hard to provide the Czech Republic with a highly capable and
affordable solution to meet its 21st century defense needs and I am
delighted by today's announcement. We recognize a period of negotiations
on complex issues lies ahead, but believe that this will lead to a
successful solution for all concerned.

"Gripen will give the Czech Air Force an outstanding multi-role defense
capability, including air superiority within NATO and provide maximum
weapons and support commonality with the L159 fleet."

Gripen partners Saab and BAE SYSTEMS, through their jointly owned
company Gripen International, will support the procurement of Gripen
with a program of industrial offset amounting to 150 % of the contract
value, delivered over a 10 year period. Offset amounting to half of the
contract value will be committed within two years of contract
effectivity.

The Czech government will be provided with financing for 100 % of the
payments due under the aircraft supply contract, with repayments spread
over at least 15 budget years from date of contract signature.

Delivered through a consortium of Czech and international banking
partners and underpinned by the government export credit agencies of
both Sweden and the United Kingdom, the Gripen financing package
provides the Czech government with 100 % protection against unplanned
foreign exchange risks.

"Gripen and L159 will form a perfect partnership in the Czech Air Force
which will be able to utilize the strengths of both products to fulfil
complementary operational roles" states Scopes.

Gripen, which is already in operational service with the Swedish Air
Force, has also been selected by the air forces of South Africa, which
has a requirement for 28, and Hungary, which will take delivery of 14.

Notes to editors:

Marketed worldwide by Gripen International, a company owned jointly by
Saab of Sweden and the United Kingdom's BAE SYSTEMS, Gripen is the most
cost-effective and capable supersonic, swing-role fighter in operational
service today.

With the ability to change operational roles during flight, at the touch
of a button, one Gripen fighter can meet the increasingly demanding
requirements of supersonic Beyond Visual Range (BVR) air defense and air
superiority missions plus close-in subsonic combat. It also provides
class-leading offensive air support, anti-ship and reconnaissance
capabilities.

Gripen's advanced design combined with a funded continuous technology
insertion program covering all major sensors, avionics, data
communication, propulsion and self protection systems, ensures it will
grow ahead of future threats to maintain and improve its operational
superiority.

For further information please contact:
John Neilson, vice president communications Gripen International
tel: +44 7802 337704 e:mail: john.n...@baesystems.com

Marie Aktö, Manager Communications, Gripen International
tel.: +46 (0) 13 184216 Mobile: +46 (0) 70 989 7110
mar...@saab.se

photographs and archived news available from www.gripen.com



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