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Saab lowers the price of its Gripen to snatch the market in the Netherlands

(B2)Determined to win the public contract for the renewal of Dutch F-16 fighter planes, facing its American competitor F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), the Swedish aircraft manufacturer Saab is slaughtering the prices... It would thus have offered to Netherlands “85 Gripen fighters for 4,8 billion euros”, during a visit by parliamentarians from the defense committee. That is almost a billion less than the amount reserved by the Ministry of Defense (5,7 billion euros) to replace the F-16s, according to our
colleagues NRC Handelsblad.

Better. The Swedes add a guarantee to their offer: a fixed price for the operation and maintenance of the unit over the next thirty years, of around 10 billion euros (while for the F-35 we go up to 14,4, 35 billion euros and this is still an estimate). So, too good to be true? The Dutch Ministry of Defense does not hesitate to say this, behind the scenes, emphasizing that “not everything is included” and that the “real amount is much higher”. The JSF is cheaper than the Gripen (especially since the Dutch have in fact already invested nearly a billion in the F-XNUMX project). He cites the Norwegian example in particular. Last November, Norway, which was in the same dilemma, finally opted for the JSF, having found that the prices of the Gripen were two to three times higher than what its manufacturer Saab suggested.

In these times of crisis, the Swedish offer is however attractive, especially since Saab is ready to write down its guarantee in black and white, as having legal value. Saab also made a similar offer of 2,9 billion euros to Denmark for the purchase AND maintenance of 24 aircraft. So… before the 2nd Chamber decides, in April, on the purchase of the first two F-35 test aircraft, the members of the Defense Commission would like to have a precise evaluation of the comparative advantages, and the true cost, of the each other. A new episode in the battle which pits the Swedish aircraft manufacturer against its American competitor.


Photo: ©Gripen International/ Katsuhiko TOKUNAGA

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

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