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Ukrainian pilots successfully test Swedish Gripen jets


The Swedish Air Force's JAS-39C Gripen during the International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford on July 21, 2019, in Fairford, U.K. (Photo credit: Matthew Horwood/Getty Images) у RAF Fairford 21 липня 2019 року у Ферфорді, Великобританія (автор фото: Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)

Ukrainian pilots have successfully tested Swedish Gripen fighter jets as Stockholm is considering sending the planes to Ukraine, Swedish Radio reported on Sept. 14, citing the country's Defense Minister Pål Jonson. Informs The Kyiv Independent.


According to the report, Ukraine's pilots have undergone orientation training which includes flights in the aircraft, simulators, and instructions for ground personnel.


Jonson said that the results of the training should help the Swedish government decide on the possibility of sending Gripens to Ukraine.


Kyiv has been seeking to obtain modern Western fighter jets to bolster its Air Force in the fight against Russian aggression.


The Swedish leadership has been previously reluctant to pledge its Gripen fighters, arguing that it has to consider its own defense needs as Sweden is not yet a NATO member.


Recently, Stockholm appears to have softened its stance. The Swedish Radio reported on Sept. 12 that the government has ordered the military to investigate the possibility of transferring Gripens to bolster Ukraine.


Gripens are not the only Western jets that Ukraine seeks to acquire. Denmark, Norway, and the Netherlands have already pledged to transfer some of their F-16 planes and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that Kyiv is also interested in French-made Rafale jets.


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