The F-16, American-made fighter jets, are focusing all the attention on the upcoming delivery of Western fighter jets to Ukraine. But other devices could appear in the Ukrainian sky in 2024.

According to Swedish Defense Minister Pal Jonson, Ukrainian pilots successfully tested the Gripen fighter jets, developed by Sweden from the 1980s. Mechanics were also trained. Initially, Stockholm had ruled out the possibility of delivering its planes to Ukraine, but the situation has changed and the subject is no longer so taboo: the lines on the F-16 have moved, the Netherlands, the Denmark and Norway say they are ready to deliver some to Kiev after the United States gave the green light in August. And Sweden is no longer closing the door to a delivery of its Gripen planes.

“A handful of Gripen can force Russia to change its doctrine and move some equipment back from the front line,” said Xavier Tytelman, former military aviator and consultant for Air et Cosmos magazine. The more there are, the better it will be for Ukrainians. » “There is a real technological gap with what Ukraine currently has. The Gripen is even better than the F-16, although we do not yet know which version of the F-16 will be supplied to the Ukrainians. »

In terms of capability, the Gripen is capable of integrating Western missiles like Storm Shadows. Delivered by Great Britain, the Storm Shadows are long-range missiles recently used by Ukraine to hit the port of Sevastopol in Crimea.

Sweden, however, has not yet announced deliveries. It will also be necessary to train Ukrainian pilots. “In terms of training time, we are in the same order of magnitude as the F-16: four months to train a pilot for a mission. And transforming an airline pilot into a fighter pilot is one year away,” recalls Xavier Tytelman.

Finally, the Gripen would not be in the odor of sanctity in Sweden, which has just joined NATO. Last year, the Swedish army pointed out several difficulties with this device, in particular problems with maintenance and the supply of spare parts. “There is a certain dependence abroad because many Gripen parts come from abroad,” emphasizes Xavier Tytelman.