F17 in Ronneby becomes Sweden's fourth Gripen wing

Today sees the inauguration of Sweden's fourth Gripen wing at F17 in
Ronneby. In total, 121 of the 204 Gripen aircraft ordered by the Swedish
Air Force have now been delivered.

The Gripen was introduced into the Swedish Air Force in June 1996. In
autumn 1997, the first squadron became operational at F7 Såtenäs. F17
Ronneby is the latest wing to receive the Gripen, after F7 Såtenäs, F10
Ängelholm and F21 Luleå. During the autumn, the two Gripen squadrons
presently at F10 in Ängelholm will be transferred to F17 in Ronneby. At
full strength the Swedish Air Force will have eight Gripen multi-role
squadrons. Today, five of those squadrons are already operating the
Gripen. So far, the Swedish Air Force has flown over 34,000 missions
with its Gripen aircraft. By 2007 the Gripen system will replace all
Sweden's Viggen aircraft.

"It feels great to start flying with the world's most modern combat
aircraft. Major rebuilding has been carried out on both the hangars and
other parts of the infrastructure. We have also trained technicians and
are currently training Gripen pilots. Also, F17 will be responsible from
2004 for SWAFRAP (the Swedish Air Force Rapid Reaction Unit). All this
will present a major challenge that we are really looking forward to",
says Major Kent Löving, Director of Communications,
at F17.

Apart from the Swedish Air Force, the Gripen has been chosen by South
Africa
(28 aircraft) and Hungary (lease of 14 aircraft). The Czech Republic has
decided on final negotiations to purchase 24 new Gripen aircraft. Gripen
International, the company jointly owned by Saab and BAE SYSTEMS, has
started negotiations with the Polish government, which intends to buy up
to 48 new aircraft. A bid has been submitted to the Brazilian government
for 12 new Gripen aircraft and to Austria for the purchase of up to 30
new aircraft.

Saab is one of the world's leading high-technology companies, with its
main operations focusing on defense, aviation and space. The group
covers a broad spectrum of competence and capabilities in systems
integration.

For further information, please contact:

Heidi Wendt, Communications Department, Phone: +46 13 4653 393,
Saab Aerospace mob: +46 709 897 393


Major Kent Löving, Director Communications F17 Phone: +46 45747 10 20,
mob: +46 708 720 909

Major Anders Linnér, Director Communications, Phone: +46 18 28 22 17,
Swedish Air Force mob: +46 703 277 384

www.saab.se

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