Gripen international welcomes first nato customer


Gripen International welcomes the signing of a Memorandum of
Understanding (MoU) between the Hungarian Government and the Swedish
Government, for the lease of 14 NATO-interoperable Gripen multi-role
fighters, to meet the national, NATO and European defense needs of the
Hungarian Air Force.

Dr János Szabó, Hungarian Defence Minister and Björn von Sydow, Swedish
Defence Minister signed the MoU at a ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden.
Hungary is the first Central European nation and first NATO member to
select Gripen to meet its 21st century defense needs.

Gripen International is supporting the Swedish government's lease of
Gripen fighters with a program of industrial offset, which will deliver
jobs and long-term industrial benefits across a number of business

"Our offset negotiations have been very successful and we will sign an
agreement linked to the Gripen lease by Hungary during December. This
program will enable further economic growth for Hungary and substantial
employment opportunities through industrial partnerships and export
promotion", comments Ian McNamee, managing director Gripen

Under the government-to-government lease agreement 14 Gripen fighters
will be delivered to Hungary in batches, beginning towards the end of
2004. The Hungarian Air Force Gripen squadron will become fully
operational during 2005. The training of pilots and technicians will
initially be carried out in Sweden. Saab in Linköping, on behalf of
Gripen International, will carry out the conversion of the aircraft to
meet the specific Hungarian requirements.

Notes to editors:
Gripen is the first fourth generation multi-role fighter in operational
service in the world, designed to meet the demands of all current and
future threats, while at the same time meeting strict peace-time
requirements for flight safety, reliability, training efficiency and low
operating costs.

Gripen International is a company in which Saab AB of Sweden and the
United Kingdom's BAE SYSTEMS have equal shares.

Already in service with the Swedish Air Force, which has ordered 204
aircraft (including 28 two-seaters), Gripen has also been ordered by the
South African Air Force which has a requirement for 28 in addition to

On 31 May, the Gripen team was the only bidder to submit a fully
compliant response to the Czech government's tender for 24 or 36
supersonic, multi-role fighters. Gripen International has begun
negotiations with the Polish government, which is looking to procure up
to 60 new fighters. A response to the Austrian governments RFP (Request
for Proposals) will be submitted in January next year, based on the
supply of up to 30 Gripen.

Pictures of Gripen are available on

For further information please contact:
John Neilson, Vice President Communications, Gripen International
Tel.: +44 (0) 1252 384795 Mobile:+44 (0) 7802 337704

Marie Aktö, Manager Communications, Gripen International
Tel.: +46 (0) 13 184216 Mobile: +46 (0) 70 989 7110

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