The current Gripen generation

Sweden plans for a Gripen drone

The newspaper Ny Teknik reports that the Swedish military is considering the possibility of a drone version of its Gripen jet fighter. The Gripen has been the mainstay of the Swedish air force, but has been criticised as more of a subsidy to provide employment than actually filling a need, when similar fighters could be bought from abroad.

To be profitable the plane has needed foreign sales, and these have been few.

Plans for a new version of the Gripen were presented earlier this year. Ny Teknik says its information comes from previously classified documents. Most surprising is the suggestion that the plane could be switched between the three different functions of pursuit, attack, and reconnaissance.

The military thinks a drone version could play an important role in future military operations, and would not be limited by having to take into account the effect of G forces on pilots.

Such a plane could be in operation by around 2030.

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