|Twice the engines for half the price?|
The Swiss Gripen purchase is turning into a bit of a drama...
After the Gripen E was selected and approved, but funding wasn't, now the Eurofighter has thrown a wrench into the works by offering 22 used Typhoons for half the price!
This seems like a bargain at first glance, as the Typhoon is certainly an impressive fighter design. The Swiss might find that the Typhoons might not be such a bargain however, depending on how much it will cost to get those Typhoons up to more modern "Tranche 3" capability (AESA radar, full ground attack capability, etc). There is also the question as to the Typhoon's long term operation costs.
This has already happened once, with Dassault offering 18 Rafales for the cost 22 Gripen Es. A closer look still led to a Gripen decision, however.
What does Canada have to gain with all this? First of all, it means that Eurofighter may be willing to make Canada a very attractive deal as well. Considering its traditionally high cost is one of the Typhoon's weaknesses, more aggressive pricing could indeed put it at the top of the list for Canada as well.
The other option is to step up and take Switzerland's position. Saab needs a partner to help develop and build the Gripen E, while Canada needs fighters. With nearly triple the potential Swiss buy, Canada's involvement would seal the deal on the Gripen E/F's development and production.
This could be interesting!