PAF trying to induct 60 Gripen jets into fleet
By Mayed Ali
LAHORE: Through a deal thought to cost around Rs 156.6 billion,
the Pakistan Airforce (PAF) is trying to induct 60 state-of-the-art
jetfighters, Gripen (JAS-39), with the manufacturers, Gripen
International - the conglomeration of Saab AB and BAE Systems.
These air-superiority combat aircrafts, come at a price-tag of
$45 million (Rs 2.61 billion), and are considered the best
overall bet in that category. The final delivery of planes to
PAF, is expected within three years. The PAF and Saab Scania
have already negotiated the deal. However, a final agreement
between the Pakistan government and Gripen International is
expected to be signed in a month or so, as the Saab AB awaits
a green signal from the Swedish Government. President Pervez
Musharraf's visit to Sweden has assumed even greater significance
against this backdrop. It is believed that the fate of the
agreement will be decided if President Musharraf succeeds in
convincing the Swedish and British governments to give a go-ahead
nod to Gripen International.
Pakistan also intends to purchase
Airborne Early Warning planes, Argus, from Saab Scania as well.