New Gripen offer for Hungary


Swedish Ambassador to Hungary, Staffan Carlsson, has today offered the
Hungarian Air Force the loan of up to 24 NATO-interoperable Gripen fourth-
generation, swing-role fighters to meet its short-term NATO and national
defence needs.

The offer, submitted on behalf of SAAB-BAE SYSTEMS Gripen AB, supported by
the governments of Sweden and the United Kingdom, complements an RFI
response for the longer-term purchase of new fighter aircraft submitted
last December.
Speaking in Budapest today, Torbjörn Edberg, regional director SAAB-BAE
SYSTEMS Gripen said: "We believe the cost of the new Gripen proposal is
lower than that proposed for its older-generation competitors. If
necessary, Hungary could extend the initial loan period or replace loan
aircraft with the new Gripen fighters as part of a future purchase."

Gripen is one of the most modern multi-role/swing-role fighters available
internationally today. Unlike its older in-service competitors, it can
provide the Hungarian Air Force with a level of operational capability
that will fully meet its NATO and national defence requirements for the
next 30 years or more.

The proposal provides the Hungarian Air Force with five full years of
operations, following deliveries, which would begin less than two years
after contract signature.

A comprehensive offset programme, involving both the aerospace/defence and
commercial sectors and high-technology transfer programmes will provide
100 per cent economic compensation for expenditure incurred by the
Hungarian government.

The new Gripen proposal for Hungary is backed by a low-cost integrated
support package which includes in-country pilot and technical
representation, spares, technical publications, ground support equipment
and training devices.

"If Hungary selects a Gripen solution, it will act as a catalyst for huge
economic and industrial benefits, providing real opportunities for
employment creation, export promotion and the transfer of high
technology," he Torbjörn Edberg. "This will assist with the future
development of national industrial capabilities", he concludes.

Notes to editors:
Produced and marketed internationally by a joint venture company in which
Saab of Sweden and the United Kingdom's BAE SYSTEMS have equal shares,
Gripen the world's first in-service fourth-generation swing-role fighter.
Designed to meet all known and perceived 21st century defense threats
Gripen is the only fighter in service today with ease of maintenance and
low operational costs designed-in. It is no ordinary fighter, combining
high performance and outstanding manoeuvrability with a fully integrated
digital information system, precision engagement weapons and
reconnaissance capabilities for the future air war.

For further information contact:
John Neilson, vice president communications, SAAB-BAE SYSTEMS Gripen
Tel: +44 1252 384795, mobile: +44 802 337704
Heidi Wendt, communications manager, SAAB-BAE SYSTEMS Gripen
Tel: +46 13 465 33 93

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