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Tal av Peter Hultqvist på Gripen E Roll-Out

Publicerad

Linköping 18 maj 2016

Det talade ordet gäller

 

Distinguished guests,

I am very happy that we are gathered here for this historic moment. I am looking forward to today's events and the official uncovering of the Gripen E -fighter.

From where I stand, the investment in JAS 39, and thus in a highly advanced and competitive fighter aircraft system, is a crucial part of the Swedish defence efforts. Our Air Force and its fighter system are of particular importance to our national security. Sweden has a long tradition of developing world leading technology and our engineers are among the best in the world. We have managed to produce top-notch fighter aircrafts to a cost that no other competitor can match. For a country the size of Sweden this is indeed some achievement! The Gripen has been constantly evolving since the first Air Craft became operational.

In light of recent developments, the need for a strong, competitive Air Force has become increasingly evident. The tension in the Baltic Sea region has increased during the last years. From the Russian side we see large scale military exercises, snap exercises and provocative behaviour around our borders. We need to further boost our overall operational capability to be able to meet the new security demands and the technological achievements of possible opponents. The introduction of Gripen E is a vital part of this ambition.

We are reinforcing our own military capability and we are deepening our ties with partners from the platform of non-military alignment. The cooperation between Sweden and Finland builds on the intention that we will have the possibility to act together in case of crisis or war. Together with our EU and NATO neighbours in the Baltic Sea region, we are building deterrence through reinforced military capability and deepened cooperation.

The Gripen is not just a fighter aircraft, it's much more than that. Each aircraft will interact with other fighters, supported by sophisticated sensors. But it is even more. The Gripen E can act in coordinated operations with other advanced systems, our own and our partners; in the air, on the sea, under the surface, and on the ground.

The Gripen system are designed for a Swedish and Nordic environment. It's a result of Swedish technological knowledge in cooperation with our partners. We are proud of that!

There are not many countries in the world able to produce these systems. It is fair to say, that for a country the size of Sweden, the high technology performance is unique. At the same time, we are internationally oriented in transferring and developing the technology further, with Brazil as a strategic partner for the Gripen E.

With this said, I'm very pleased to see the next generation Gripen aircraft roll-out from Saab today as a result of the decision the Government took in a broad political majority back in 2012.

This is the next generation of Gripen which will become operational during the 2020 giving us considerable leverage in the air domain. The new Gripen will allow us to meet new challenges that for sure lie ahead. I see this as a major contribution to our efforts to meet our new security environment.

Thank You!