Sweden’s Försvarets Materielverk (FMV; Defence Materiel Administration) revealed on April 4 that it has delivered the first of ten new Grob 120TP (G120TP) basic trainers to the Swedish Air Force – marking the first time in 11 years that the FMV has handed over a new aircraft to the air arm.
Designated the SK40 in Swedish Air Force service, the ten G120TPs will be used to partially replace the service’s ageing fleet of Saab 105 (SK60) jet trainers. Sweden moved to acquire the G120TP in May 2021, when the FMV announced it had signed a procurement contract with Grob for an initial seven aircraft, plus options on an unspecified number of additional airframes. The first G120TP was delivered to the FMV for testing purposes in May 2022, before Sweden chose to exercise its option to acquire a further three aircraft in December, that year.
While the G120TP forms the core part of this acquisition, Sweden has procured a complete training system that also includes a digital planning system, flight safety equipment, simulators and training for flight instructors. As per current plans, all ten G120TPs will be modified to allow flight operations in icy weather conditions and delivered to the Swedish Air Force before the end of 2023.
With the platform set to fill the basic pilot training role, instructor pilots will also carry out a so-called type approach on the new training system to help further develop it and complete a new training plan for further students. At present, the Swedish Air Force plans for this new system to be ready to receive its first batch of student pilots in mid-2024.
Commenting on the acquisition, Andreas Säf Pernselius – a project manager at the FMV – said: “The SK40 meets the requirements the Armed Forces have set for the system in order to train future fighter pilots during the Grundläggande Flygutbildning (GFU, Basic Flying Training) part of the training… The procurement has been characterised by openness and transparency between the supplier, Grob Aircraft, the Swedish Armed Forces and FMV. It has definitely contributed to us being able to deliver the system so quickly to the Armed Forces. Everyone has an understanding of what the goal is and how we are going to get there.”