Thursday, April 7, 2011

No Fuel for Swedish Jets on Libya Mission

Swedish Gripen fighters were due to fly missions in Libya today but were grounded because their U.S. run base in Sicily doesn't have the right fuel.

As the Gripens use standard civilian Jet A1 fuel and U.S. and many NATO fighters use a special more volatile JP5 fuel, the two are not interchangeable.

Why wouldn't the most common jet fuel be available? There is plenty of speculation that the U.S. is taking every opportunity to deny the Swedes opportunities to demonstrate the capabilities of these aircraft. They are seen as potential competitors for the U.S.-made F-35 joint strike fighters, currently being strongly considered by Canada, as well as many other countries.

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