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March 23, 2023

SAAB and Eurofighter cancel Black Sea Defence & Aerospace participation following F-16 decision

Sweden’s SAAB has canceled its participation with Gripen multirole fighter jets at the Black Sea Defence & Aerospace exhibition (BSDA) scheduled this month and has postponed its plans to sponsor the participation of NATO air forces with that type of jets at Romanian air shows. The decision was made after the company took note of ‘the Supreme Defense Council’s recommendation to Parliament to buy 24 old F-16 fighters,’ Mediafax reports.

“SAAB Group was surprised that the Supreme Defence Council recommended Parliament to debate and adopt a decision based on only one offer (that of old F-16 fighters) ‘because of the lack of financial resources needed in order to buy new fighter jets.’ The Swedish company hopes that Romania will nevertheless take into consideration all the offers received and will choose its new multirole fighter through a transparent process open to competition, one that would assure taxpayers that the offer chosen is the best one possible,” a press release from the company reads.

Also Eurofighter decided not to take part at BSDA for the same reason.

SAAB had planned to sponsor the participation of two modern Gripen Jas 39 fighters belonging to the Hungarian Air Force at the BSDA air show where the Gripens could have been seen again four years after their presence and performance impressed the Romanian public at the ROIAS 2006 air show in Constanta. Nevertheless, the Swedish group could once again bring the Gripen jets to air shows in Romania provided that the country decides to buy multirole fighters through a process open to competition and based on the European Union’s Code of Conduct on Transparency in Defence Procurement and Offset.

Last month, the Supreme Defence Council approved the Ministry of Defence’s proposal to buy 24 used F-16 fighter jets, with the document being filed to Parliament for debate and final decision.

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