Despite a promising start and a very attractive price-performance ratio, the Swedish fighter Saab JAAS 39 Gripen struggles to win in international competitions, squeezed between multi-purpose fighters like the Rafale, the F35A and the Typhoon, more expensive but also more efficient, and light fighters like the South Korean FA-50 and the Pakistani JF-17, whose performances are more and more remarkable, and the acquisition costs singularly low. In addition, the Swedish single-engine fighter must face the return of the Lockheed-Martin F16 in its Viper version, an aircraft whose performance and characteristics are substantially identical to that of Gripen E / F, but who benefits from all the American diplomatic power behind him. In fact, many NATO countries have preferred to align themselves with the American protector rather than trust Sweden and its hunter in recent competitions, and apart from Brazil and Sweden, no other country has for the hour signed contract for the acquisition of Gripen for many years.
The competition started in the Philippines in 2019 to replace the F5 Tiger withdrawn from service a few years ago, could however smile at the Gripen. Indeed, Saab is widely expected to be Manila's favorite for the acquisition of 12 modern multipurpose fighters. Once again, the Gripen, in its C / D version less expensive than the E / F, is confronted with Lockheed-Martin's F16 Block 70/72 Viper, which again benefits from more than supported support from the American authorities. . But the American device has seen its acquisition and maintenance costs evolve considerably in recent years, and the 10 F16V Block 70s as well as the 2 F16Ds offered by Washington, with spare parts and a large batch of ammunition, still exceed $ 2,4 billion, an amount that is simply not at the level of the Manila Stock Exchange. Fact, the Swedish Gripen, more economical and the main competitor of the F16 in this case, could well win, while the final decision must be announced "shortly" by the Philippine authorities.
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