A Hungarian Air Force JAS-39 Gripen on August 7, 2010.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke about the possibility of Ukrainian forces using Gripen jets on Saturday.
The Swedish jets were specifically built to take on Russia’s advanced fighter jets.
Of the six countries that fly the jet, only two support Ukraine.
Zelenskyy met with Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson on Saturday and spoke of the JAS 39 Gripen jets during a joint press conference in Ukraine, according to a statement from Zelenskyy on X. Zelenskyy also announced that Ukrainian pilots are training on the planes.
“Today we discussed in detail the future steps regarding the possibility of opening the subject of receiving Swedish Gripens,” Zelenskyy said in the joint press conference, per Reuters.
Sweden previously said it would not send these jets to assist the war effort.
A top US general warned that the new F-16s would not be a “silver bullet” solution to take down Russia’s forces, Insider’s Christopher Woody and Jake Epstein reported. Ukranian fighters have also faced critical delays in pilot training that could further hinder its counteroffensive.
Although much attention is focused on F-16s, experts have lauded the Gripens as a better fit for Ukrainian soldiers. For one, the Gripen’s electronic-warfare capabilities are reportedly able to outmaneuver Russia’s Sukhoi jets, which have even eluded F-16s.
A Swedish JAS-39 Gripen fighter jet over Sweden on February 18, 2022.
US Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Corban Lundborg
Additionally, experts from the Royal United Services Institute argued that the plane’s simplicity and ability to be “be refueled, re-armed, and given basic maintenance by teams of just six ground” would be helpful to Ukrainians trying to evade the watch of Russia’s forces, Insider previously reported.
However, Insider previously reported that the aircraft has never been used in combat and comes in limited supply. Of the six countries that use the jet, only two — Sweden and the Czech Republic — have supported the Ukrainian war effort. Brazil, South Africa, and Thailand remain neutral, and Hungary has refused to give weapons to Ukraine.
The Ukraine Ministry of Defense did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.