6th gen fighter concept

Saab and GKN will study 6th gen fighter for Sweden

Companies received a request from the Swedish Defense Materiel Administration (FMV) to present a concept by 2025. The country is not participating in European programs for a new stealth fighter

Saab and GKN Aerospace have been selected by the Swedish government to develop a study of a new future fighter system.

The 6th generation aircraft will include manned and unmanned solutions, the study of disruptive technologies involving development, propulsion and systems.

The contract with the Swedish Defense Materiel Administration (FMV) runs until 2025, and plans to create a replacement for the Gripen fighters within around two decades.

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“The objective is to provide a basis for a future decision on the choice of path to satisfy the material supply of combat aviation capabilities after 2040,” the FMV said.

Swedish Saab Gripen E fighters (Saab)

Potential partnership with the United Kingdom ended

Since the end of World War II, Sweden has invested in the development of its own fighters, all manufactured by Saab. Independence in this regard included imagining a scenario in which its aircraft would operate from improvised bases in an eventual conflict with the Soviet Union and its former satellite countries.

The high cost of a 6th generation fighter project, however, led the Swedish government to approach the United Kingdom in the Global Combat Air Program (GCAP), now also including Italy and Japan.

GCAP 6th gen fighter programme (BAE Systems)

But in 2023, Sweden left the group and there are reports that it may join another European air defense system initiative, FCAS (Future Combat Air System), which brings together France, Germany and Spain.

There is consensus, however, that a European 6th generation fighter can only be viable with the union of several countries. However, the leading role in the program is at stake, as can be seen in the dispute between Dassault and Airbus for leadership in FCAS.


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