Sweden gives Ukraine AWACS planes, but no Gripen fighter jets

The aircraft will give Ukraine new air defense capabilities

Saab 340 Argus VBY AWACS plane (Wikimedia Commons)
By Dénes Albert
2 Min Read

The Swedish Ministry of Defense has announced a new military assistance package for Ukraine, which includes €1.16 billion of support aimed at strengthening Ukraine’s air defense, the ministry’s press service announced.

Sweden is donating reconnaissance and radar control aircraft (ASC 890) to Ukraine, which will enhance the air defense capabilities of the Ukrainian armed forces. In addition, the entire stock of Pansarbandvagn 302 (Pbv 302) armored personnel carriers will be transferred to support the new brigades of the defense forces.

The Swedish Ministry of Defense has also drawn attention to the lack of ammunition for Ukrainian defenders. To help remedy this shortage, it announced the transfer of 155-mm artillery shells to Ukraine and Hunting Robot Rb99 (AMRAAM) missiles, which can be used on both aircraft and ground-based air defense systems.

The ASC 890 aircraft will provide Ukraine with completely new radar reconnaissance and combat control capabilities for targets in the air and at sea, the Swedish Ministry of Defense added. The transfer of these systems will enhance the ability of Ukrainian defenders to detect and engage long-range targets.

Bloomberg reported that the Swedish government will provide Ukraine with €2 billion in annual military aid over the next three years. Since the start of Russia’s full-scale aggression, Sweden has already given Kyiv military and humanitarian support worth about €3.8 billion.

Sweden, however, is suspending plans to send Gripen fighter jets to Ukraine to allow F-16 fighter jets to be put into service, according to Swedish Defense Minister Pal Jonson.

“We have been urged by the other coalition countries to hold off with Gripens,” he said, referring to countries planning to supply Ukraine with US-made F-16 jets. The minister added that this was because “the focus is now on the use of F-16s.”

Last year, Ukraine began negotiations with Sweden to receive Gripen fighter jets, and the Scandinavian country later said it would assess the potential of sending planes made by Saab, a Swedish defense contractor.

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