Norway and Saab agree over Gripen

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Norway and Saab, through Gripen International, have signed a Letter of Agreement worth a total of around NOK150m (£12.8m) regarding the future development of the Gripen fighter.

This agreement strengthens Gripen's chances of being selected as the future fighter aircraft for the Norwegian Air Force.

The Norwegian Defence Minister Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen and the Swedish Defence Minister Mikael Odenberg, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in development work on the future versions of Gripen.

This agreement is an important step for Gripen as a candidate to be selected as Norway's future fighter aircraft, which is planned to be in service with the Norwegian Air Force around 2015. Through it, the Norwegian authorities and Norwegian commercial companies will get an extensive understanding and insight into the Gripen system, leading to Norwegian participation in future development work in co-operation with Saab.

There was also a Letter of Agreement (LoA) signed between the Norwegian authorities and the Saab subsidiary Gripen International. This agreement will enable Norwegian companies to work on advanced development work in a range of high technology areas, such as composites, communication systems, studies and integration work for Norwegian weapon systems, ammunition, logistics and data systems. The total value is worth some NOK150m (£12.8m) for a period of two years, with the option to further extend the agreement.

Gripen is the first of the new generation, true multi-role combat aircraft to enter service. Using the latest available technology it is capable of performing an extensive range of air-to-air and air-to-surface operational missions and employing the latest weapons.