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Article: Sweden weighs sending Ukraine fighter jets, SR radio reports

Sweden weighs sending Ukraine fighter jets, SR radio reports

Sweden weighs sending Ukraine fighter jets, SR radio reports

PHOTO CAPTION: A Swedish JAS 39 Gripen takes off from Bodö airport during Trident Juncture 18, Nov. 2, 2018. (Swedish Försvarsmakten photo by Mats Nyström via U.S. Defense Visual Information Distribution Service)

 

 

By Louise Rasmussen

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - The Swedish government is considering donating Gripen fighter jets to Ukraine to help it fight Russia, Swedish public radio (SR) reported on Tuesday, citing unnamed sources.

The government wants to know, among other things, how a handover would affect Sweden's defence capabilities and how quickly Sweden could get new Gripen fighters, SR reported.

The government may formally ask the armed forces as early as Thursday to officially consider the issue, according to the report.

The ministry of defence did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Netherlands and Denmark have led a push to supply Ukraine with U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets to help counter Russia's air superiority in the war.

According to the SR report, Ukraine hopes to receive one division of Gripen jets, made by Sweden's Saab, or 16-18 planes.

Sweden this year said it would give Ukrainian pilots the opportunity to test the Gripen, but the government has also said it needs all its planes to defend Swedish territory.

The opposition leader last month said Sweden should prepare to send Gripens to Ukraine once it has completed its accession to the U.S.-led NATO defence alliance, for which it is still awaiting ratification from member-states Turkey and Hungary.



(Reporting by Louise Breusch Rasmussen, editing by Terje Solsvik and Kevin Liffey)

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