Saab sketches first details of Sweden’s next-generation fighter jet study


Saab has revealed the initial details of Sweden’s Future Combat Aviation Concept study (Koncept för Framtida Stridsflyg, KFS).

This independent project began in July 2023 and is expected to continue through 2025. It was presented at a press briefing held at Saab’s headquarters in Linköping.

It is distinct from the UK-led Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP). Sweden was announced as one of the original participants in Team Tempest, and jointly explored with Italy and the United Kingdom the requirements for a sixth-generation fighter jet. 

Sweden did not follow suit when the project merged with Japan’s F-X program and was cemented into the GCAP in December 2022.

As Peter Nilsson, the head of Saab’s Advanced Programmes, revealed, Sweden has undertaken a strategic re-evaluation of its priorities in light of new developments, both internal and external.

“Sweden decided with all the things happening, the war in Ukraine, NATO membership, and a raised defense budget, let’s take a deep breath and see where we are going to go,” Nilsson said, as quoted by Flight Global.

Even though the new concept is still in the early stages, Nilsson hinted that it would differ significantly from the Gripen, emphasizing low observability, autonomy, and electronic warfare capabilities.

(Credit: Saab)

These developments follow Saab’s order from the Defence Material Administration (FMV) in March 2024, which includes studies on manned and unmanned solutions in system-by-system, technology development, and demonstrators. 

The project is anticipated to progress to concept, technology, and demonstration development in 2026 until 2031, when a procurement decision will be made.

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