January 21, 2008 (by Lieven Dewitte) - The Royal Norwegian MoD has requested FMV, Sweden's Defence Materiel Administration, to submit binding proposals for the replacement of its ageing fleet of F-16s with the Gripen fighter.
RNoAF F-16AM #673 & #281 from FLO are flying in formation over Sola AP on June 4th, 2007. [Photo by Sten Arne Bryde]
The Royal Norwegian Ministry of Defence has announced that its F-16 fleet is foreseen to reach the end of its technical and operational lifespan around 2015, and that it has a need to acquire a future combat aircraft capability to replace its F-16 fleet.
In order to meet the Norwegian Parliament’s target of approving the future combat aircraft acquisition process by Spring 2009, the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Defence has issued a Request for Binding Information (RBI) to FMV, as well as two other suppliers.
The invitation from the Norwegian authorities to FMV to bid, follows the recent receipt of similar invitations from India, Switzerland, Denmark
, and is further evidence of the big interest Gripen is generating worldwide. FMV’s response to the Norwegian MoD RBI is required to be submitted on 28 April 2008.
Hans Rosén, Gripen International's Sales and Marketing Director for Norway
, is confident that FMV will present a very attractive offer to Norway.
Gripen is already in-service with the air forces in Sweden, Czech Republic and Hungary and deliveries to the South African air force will begin this year. Gripen is also operated by the UK's Empire Test Pilot School (ETPS) for training test pilots worldwide.
The procurement process between the Thai and Swedish governments, following Thailand's selection of Gripen to replace the Royal Thai Air Force F-5 aircraft, is also nearing conclusion.