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ZURICH Nov 30 Switzerland has chosen to
replace its fighter jet fleet with Swedish defence and aerospace
group Saab's JAS-39 Gripen, Swiss newspaper
Tagesanzeiger reported on Wednesday, citing unnamed sources
close to the government.
Neutral Switzerland has wrangled for the past three years
over whether to replace its ageing Northrop F-5E/F Tiger
fighters, purchased in 1976 and 1981, with up to 33 new
Saab shares were up 8.5 percent to 117.10 Swedish crowns by
1345 GMT after the newspaper report.
The newspaper said the cost of purchasing 22 jets would be
about 3 billion Swiss francs ($3.3 billion), 1 billion less than
the same number of rival models would cost.
In September, the Swiss lower house of parliament approved a
5 billion francs defence budget for 2013 to finance a 100,000
strong army and the purchase of new fighter jets.
Other bidders included the Rafale built by french company
Dassault Aviation and EADS's
Anglo-German-Italian Eurofighter Typhoon.
($1 = 0.9207 Swiss franc)
(Reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Dan Lalor)