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Seventh Gripen fighter plane arrives at Hungary’s air base

The seventh Gripen jet fighter out of 14 that Hungary is leasing from Sweden, landed at the Kecskemét military airbase, central Hungary, on Tuesday, the Swedish Defence Procurement Office (FMV) told MTI.

The first five Gripens arrived at Kecskemét in March and the sixth in October. Deliveries for 2006 are fulfilled, director of FMV's Hungarian Gripen program Mats Hansson said. Hungary will receive the last seven of the upgraded NATO-compatible jets by December 2007 under a ten-year lease agreement concluded with the Swedish-British manufacturer Gripen International in 2001. The fighters will be owned by Hungary afterwards.

The 12 single-seat and two double-seat Gripen JAS-39 fighter planes, capable of mid-air refueling, are outfitted with laser-guided missile systems and an on-board oxygen generating system. The total cost of the deal will come to about Ft 210 billion (€798 million) by 2016, including Ft 122 billion (€463 million) to lease the fighters, about Ft 20 billion (€76 million) in interest on loans and about Ft 68 billion (€258 million) for logistics support. (english.mti.hu)