The Swedish state agency, Swedish Defence Material Administration (Försvarets Materielverk – known as the “FMV”) which was proposing the fighter Saab JAS-39 E Gripen, to succeed the Belgian F-16 fighter-bomber, is now pulling out. It announced on Monday that it was withdrawing from this €3.573 billion contract tender process.
It indicated that the partnership desired by the Belgian government required that Sweden has “a foreign policy mandate and policies which generally do not currently exist.”
“Consequently, Sweden and the FMV agency have decided not to submit a response” to the invitation to the tender instigated by Belgium. This was indicated by the FMV in a communiqué.
Sweden thus becomes, after the American aeronautical and defence group, Boeing, the second candidate for the construction of 34 new fighter planes to withdraw from the submission of a response for the invitation to tender. The tender document is officially entitled the “Request for Governmental Proposal”, RfGP. This was sent last March by the Ministry of Defence to five state agencies, two American and three European, each representing a given type of aeroplane.
There now remain three agencies in the running – and therefore three aeroplanes subject to consideration for this project. These are the Joint Program Office (JPO) for the F-35 Lightning II made by Lockheed Martin, the French Defence Procurement Agency (DPA, relying upon the French Ministry of Defence) for the Rafale F3R manufactured by Dassault, and the British Ministry of Defence (MoD) for the Eurofighter Typhoon.