Saab has proposed the South African Air Force (SAAF) to go for the MS20 upgrade for their Gripen fighters, reports the Engineering News.
“Gripen was developed with the concept of continuous upgrades – small upgrades every second or third year," says Mats Lundberg, Senior Marketing Executive, Saab.
In the last four years, the Swedish, Czech, and Hungarian Air Forces have successfully completed the MS20 upgrade to their Gripen fleet. The improvements that were a part of these upgrades ranged from enhanced air-to-ground capabilities to integration of systems like the targeting electro-optical pod Litening III.
"We are proposing that the other operators of the Gripen (South Africa and Thailand) also adopt the same standard," Lundberg said. "It makes it easier for us to support Gripen if all are to the same standard.”
But Lundberg added that the MS20 update can be customised. "A customer does not need to adopt the full range of capabilities offered under MS20, only those that they need," he says.
For South Africa, Saab plans to do a development study before preparing a SAAF-customised MS20 offer. It will be a two-three year programme which will involve the participation of South African defence industry.
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