Major deal between Sweden’s Saab and U.S. Air Force a “sign of closer transatlantic ties”, says defence expert

Swedish manufacturer Saab obtained a contract to built part of a fleet of 351 Boeing T-X training aircraft for the U.S. Air Force. (John D. Parker/Copyright Saab AB)
A new deal means that the Swedish manufacturer Saab will for many years to come be making trainer aircrafts for the US Air Force. This is a sign of Sweden’s closer security ties to the US, according to one analyst.

At the end of September the US Air Force chose the American company Boeing and Swedish Saab to jointly develop and supply 351 T-X pilot trainer aircrafts. The deal is worth 9.2 billion US dollars.

“It is a big thing, it is a really big thing. It shows the confidence that the American arms industry has in the Swedish arms industry,” Mike Winnerstig, deputy director of research at the Swedish Defence research agency told Radio Sweden.

According to a joint press statement from Saab and Boeing, more than 90 percent of the overall production will be made in the US. But Mike Winnerstig thinks it will still mean a lot for Saab, and for Linköping (southern Sweden), where the company is located.

Winnerstig sees the deal in line with the government’s strategic goals.

“This plays into the geopolitical strategy of the Swedish government right now, in terms of making the transatlantic bonds much stronger than before,” he said.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Chinese-made equipment in Canada’s Arctic ships under scrutiny, CBC News

Finland: As Finnish Air Force seeks new fighters, expert weighs options, Yle News

Norway: Norway to build three large Coast Guard ships for Arctic, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Russia to design Cold-War-style “monster” to patrol Northern Sea Route, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Sweden to buy U.S.-made Patriot air defence systems, Radio Sweden

United States: Why are elite fighter pilots leaving the U.S. Air Force?, Alaska Public Media

Ulla Engberg, Radio Sweden

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