Before you buy a car, you take a test drive. It's similar with military jets. An evaluation takes place, which under normal circumstances lasts for months. Then reports are evaluated, the pros and cons are weighed up, and in the end politicians make the decision. However, experience has shown that it is not necessarily for the aircraft that the pilots would prefer.
As far as the Ukrainian Air Force is concerned, the process is naturally faster. There is literally fire under the roof and if you definitely shouldn't have something, then it's time. After the Ukrainian president's first test ride in a Gripen jet (Link) the specialist staff were now also allowed into the cockpit.
Saab Gripen use in Ukraine?
Ukrainian pilots flew Gripen jets in Sweden, known in technical jargon as orientation training. The training includes flights in the simulator as well as in the Gripen itself, as well as briefings for the ground staff. According to Swedish Defense Minister Pål Jonsson in a statement (Link) are used to find out whether the Gripen jets would be suitable for use in Ukraine.
Saab could provide 14 new Gripen jets for Ukraine in the short term. These are the older Gripen C and D models, and the manufacturer is said to have finished airframes available. The Saab Gripen is said to be easy to fly and is said to be less complex than the products of its market competitors. The cost per flight hour is cheaper than that of comparable jets, air availability is high and maintenance requirements are low.
Ukraine would probably welcome any new Gripen with joy, but nothing was known about the verdict of the Ukrainian pilots. However, the country reported the need for 16 to 18 Gripen to Sweden in August. The Swedish government would now like to examine the possibilities of delivery as soon as possible; the probability of this is high because the Social Democrats in the opposition are also in favor of selling Saab Jets to the war zone.
Images courtesy of Saab AB