“We will fight for a good, effective and financially viable fighter plane,” he said. “Given our knowledge today, the Gripen doesn’t fulfill the requirements to succeed with the people.”
But the Swedish prime minister said Sweden needed the planes, expected to come into service in 2023, to defend its territory and carry out its international commitments.
Purchasing the jets would not come at the expense of other military spending and would be good for Swedish industry, he said.
“The decision is necessary in terms of our defence capabilities, but also positive for Swedish jobs, Swedish exports and Swedish research and development,” Reinfeldt said.
Sweden’s agreement with Switzerland includes sharing the costs for training pilots and mechanics, maintenance and future upgrades to the plane during its expected 20 year life-cyle.