UPDATE 1-Saab signs deal with Sweden for new Gripen jet

STOCKHOLM Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:57am EST

STOCKHOLM Feb 15 (Reuters) - Swedish defence firm Saab said on Friday it had signed an agreement with the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration for its next-generation Gripen E fighter jets after a go-ahead from parliament.

Saab said the deal is for development and modification of the jet during the period 2013-2026.

It said FMV had placed an initial development order worth 2.5 billion crowns ($396 million) for operations during 2013-2014 while remaining orders from Sweden were expected to be placed in the same years.

The first of the 60 Gripen E jets - modified jets of the existing Gripen C model - are due to be delivered in 2018.

The agreement also includes provisions for delivery of 22 jets to Switzerland, with which Sweden is sharing some of the development costs for the plane but which hasn't decided yet whether to place an order.

The total value of possible orders under the agreement, including from Switzerland, would amount to 47.2 billion Swedish crowns, Saab said in a statement.

Saan said the agreement includes rights for FMV on certain conditions to make cancellations. "The agreement also includes sections regulating the conditions should Switzerland decide not to acquire Gripen E," it said.

($1 = 6.3204 Swedish crowns) (Reporting by Anna Ringstrom)

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