Brazil Gripen Deal Likely to Fail
Sweden’s most prestigious weapon system, the Gripen fighter plane, is preparing for an emergency landing. Last winter NATO member Norway turned down a Swedish offer to purchase the latest version of the plane. Before, neighboring Finland had also decided against equpping its air force with Gripen planes. And now high hopes for a deal with Brazil seem to evaporate, as the South American nation is signaling that it prefers the French-built Rafale jet fighter over the Gripen. So far only four nations have signed purchase contracts. One of those countries is Thailand, and the fact that Swedish fighter planes were sold to a military regime has caused some bitter criticism.
With the latest setback in mind, Swedish politicians should consider the consequences. The SAAB corporation, who manufactures the Gripen, had expected many billion-dollar deals worldwide. But the future looks dark for the Gripen plane.