Gripen jets back from Libya next week

Sweden is bringing home its Gripen jet fighters from Libya next week.

"We take them home in six days time when our part of the operation is over on October 24th," said Sweden's commander-in-chief of the armed forces, Sverker Göransson to TT.

The first of eight Gripen planes was sent to Sicily to take part in the Nato-led mission on April 2nd. It was the first time in almost fifty years that Swedish fighter planes have taken part in an international operation.

The government has put the cost of supporting the Nato led no- fly- zone mission over Libya at 336 miljoner kronor (50 million US dollars.)

The armed forces described the Gripen mission in Libya as "successfull" and "important" to Nato as well as providing frontline experience for Sweden's troops.

TT reports that the planes have delivered over 2100 scouting reports.

Göransson said that what surprised him most was the speed of deployment of the eight Saab Gripen fighter jets.

"23 hours after parliament's decision we were down there," he told TT.

The Nato mission in Libya is not over but the need for Swedish scouting missions has lowered in the past week.