Fact checks about countries

FACT CHECK: The Philippines doesn’t have a final deal to buy Gripen jet fighters

Rappler.com
FACT CHECK: The Philippines doesn’t have a final deal to buy Gripen jet fighters
Philippine Air Force spokesperson Colonel Maynard Mariano recently said the country has yet to decide what model to purchase due to lack of funding

Claim: Sweden has sold 16 Gripen fighter jets to the Philippines.

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The YouTube video containing the claim has over 14,458 views as of writing.

No announcements from both governments: The governments of the Philippines and Sweden do not have any statements regarding a final and formal deal for Manila’s purchase of Saab JAS Gripen fighter jets. There are no news reports from mainstream media about the deal either.

Swedish aircraft manufacturer Saab, which publishes press releases about its new contracts and orders, does not have any announcement regarding a supposed purchase of JAS Gripen fighter jets by the Philippines. 

Permission, not a deal: According to Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, The EurAsian Times, and The Press United, the Swedish government only gave permission to export JAS Gripen jets to the Philippines. 

  • Sweden is silent: However, news reports from these digital newspapers said that the information came from ‘several sources’ and that the Swedish government did not confirm nor deny the information. 

Latest official developments: The most recent statement of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) on the purchase of fighter jets were mentioned in a Philippine News Agency (PNA) report published on November 14, 2022. 

According to report, Undersecretary Jose Faustino Jr., officer-in-charge at the Department of National Defense, said that the multirole fighter (MRF) project of PAF remains on the department’s “wish list.”

PAF’s possible acquisition of Saab JAS Gripen fighter jets, or any multirole fighter jets, is part of the MRF project. 

Aside from Saab’s JAS 39 Gripen, PAF is also considering US firm Lockheed Martin’s F-16 and South Korean Aerospace Industries’ KF-21.

However, PAF spokesperson Maynard Mariano said in a GMA News Online report on August 16, 2022, that PAF was still looking for funds for the MRF project. – Lorenz Pasion/Rappler.com

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