The agreement aims to provide opportunities for Swedish defence industries to participate in the modernization program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, specifically in the acquisition of advanced multirole fighter aircraft. Stockholm has been offering the Saab JAS-39 Gripen to meet the requirements of the PAF’s multi-role fighter acquisition project.
Earlier discussions between Galvez and Swedish Trade Minister Johan Forssell in Manila helped finalize the MOU and strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries. In addition, PAF Chief Lt. Gen. Stephen Parreño led a delegation to Sweden, where they engaged with the Swedish Air Force and visited the Saab facility to observe the JAS-39 Gripen and Saab 340 airborne early warning and control aircraft.
The signing of the MOU indicates a significant step towards fulfilling the PAF’s long-standing aspiration of acquiring multirole fighters to enhance deterrence capabilities. While the Saab JAS-39 Gripen has emerged as a preferred option, the PAF has also considered the F-16 Viper, manufactured by Lockheed Martin, for their future fighter jet needs.
The agreement sets the stage for potential collaboration between the Philippines and Sweden in the defence sector, promoting self-reliance and strengthening national security. The Gripen fighter jets, known for their advanced features and proven capabilities, are expected to bolster the Philippines’ defence capabilities against emerging regional threats.
Both countries are now poised to explore further possibilities and engage in negotiations to materialize the potential Gripen fighter jet deal. As the Philippine Air Force’s modernization program gains momentum, the selection of a suitable multirole fighter aircraft will play a pivotal role in enhancing the country’s defence capabilities and ensuring the security of Philippine skies.