New probe into Gripen deal

Brazilian prosecutors have launched a new probe into suspected payment of bribes concerning Brazil’s purchase of 36 JAS Gripen planes from Saab.

According to the Brazilian paper O Estado de Sao Paolo, the probe is part of a bigger investigation into the suspected illegal payment of around SKr 5.2 million by the jailed lobbyist Mauro Marcondes Machado to a company owned by the son of former Brazilian President Lula da Silva. The paper writes ”documents found at the home of the lobbyist state that Saab asked Lula to endorse support for the Saab deal with President Dilma Rousseff”.

Brazil Gripen deal takes effect

Yesterday the Saab defence and security group announced that the contract signed with Brazil in October 2014 for the supply of 36 Gripen NG combat aircraft has come into effect. The conditions from Brazil associated with the financing of the deal have been fulfilled. Brazil will pay for the SKr 39.3 billion order with credit from the Swedish export credit corporation (SEK).
The aircraft will be built both in Sweden and Brazil and deliveries will run from 2019 to 2024.
Håkan Buskhe, CEO of Saab, said the deal would mean growing interest in Gripen and other Saab products. The defence group has Gripen deals in the pipeline with Belgium, Indonesia, India and Finland.

Renewed interest in Gripen

A year after Swiss voters rejected the purchase of 22 JAS Gripen fighter aircraft, the country’s Defence Minister, Ueli Maurer, has told public broadcaster RTS that the situation is becoming urgent. Maurer said Switzerland will have to look at a number of alternatives in 2017 so that a new fighter jet can be found which can supplement the fleet of F-18s, which will remain in service until around 2030.

Sweden’s Saab JAS Gripen, France’s Rafale, and a US fighter jet – potentially the F-35 – are of interest, reports Svenska Dagbladet.

Håkan Buskhe, chief executive of the Saab defence group, has said: “There is likely to be a new procurement process in Switzerland in a few years. Naturally, we will try to be part of the process”.