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The Smart Fighter

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Håkan Buskhe, President and CEO, Saab announced a commitment to build an aerostructure plant in São Bernardo do Campo if Gripen wins the Brazil’s FX2 competition, reports the  Airpower blog.

Mr. Buskhe announced this commitment after his meeting with Mr. Luiz Marinho, Mayor of São Bernardo do Campo at the 50th Paris Air Show recently.

"I am very happy with the position of Saab in reaffirming its future investments in São Bernardo do Campo," said Mayor Luiz Marinho.

Read the full story:Saab may build aerostructures plant in São Bernardo​

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Gripen E’s demonstration-phase work using a modified D-model trainer has advanced into its fifth phase of activity, with the aircraft now flying with a digital head-up display, new infrared search and track sensor and Selex ES-05 Raven AESA array installed, says a news report in  Flightglobal.

The report highlights that Saab recently cut metal on the first of its three dedicated test examples of the Gripen E and also flew a production-standard active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar for the first time in its current two-seat demonstrator.

"We have done the first flights in Phase 5, and this aircraft is doing a really great job in development," Saab's head of aeronautics Lennart Sindahl said. "We are well ahead, with all of the [Gripen E] systems now in the air. I feel very confident in relation to the risk on this programme."

Deliveries of Gripen E are scheduled to start in 2018. Sweden has given the commitment to buy 60 Gripen NG and Switzerland is in the advanced phase of approving a 22 aircraft deal.

Read the full story:  PARIS: Saab cuts metal on first Gripen E test aircraft​​

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A successful Swiss Gripen deal would mean a business of over two billion francs for the local economy of Bern, says a news report in Bernerzeitung.

The offset agreements will benefit not just the defence industry. Niels Fischer, Industrial Cooperation Saab Gripen Switzerland, explains that there will also be contracts for companies in the mechanical, metal, clock-making and automotive industries, aviation and information technology. 

According to the report, if Switzerland purchases the Gripen E fighters, offset agreements amounting to 100 per cent of the contract value for the Gripen fighters would be delivered. At the moment, this means these agreements will be valued at over two billion Swiss francs. 

“Till now, 100 firms have agreed to offset partnerships, 75 per cent of which are SMEs and 15 per cent are located in Western Switzerland,” Fischer adds.

Read the full story:Berner Wirtschaft hofft auf Gegengeschäfte​

​“We have a very flexible, smart product and this, in combination with the cost efficiency, seems to fit hand in glove with the budget restraints that we can see basically all over the world at this time,” Eddy De La Motte, Head of Gripen Export, said during the Paris Air Show 2013 on being asked about the reason for the huge interest in Gripen.

Talking about the markets Saab is looking at, Eddy says that Gripen has a strong hold in Europe, including aircraft in service in Sweden, Hungary, Czech Republic. Saab is looking at Denmark, Netherlands, Croatia, Asia and Latin America. He added that Saab is working hard for the Brazil campaign and has the best offer in terms of the product, industrial participation and price.

“I believe we are looking at a very bright future. My goal has always been to sell 300 Gripen aircraft in the export market and I am convinced we are going to do this,” he says.

Sweden is about to start a new round of airborne firings with the MBDA Meteor missile to support the weapon's final integration with Gripen C/D, reports IHS Jane's

According to the report, these airborne firings are part of the capabilities clearance plan for the Gripen development package MS20.

The development work for the MS20 should be completed in 2014 and the first modernized aircraft is scheduled to enter into service in Sweden in late 2014 or early 2015. 

These test firings will be conducted by the Gripen test 39-7 in the test field Vidsel, Sweden. Two missile launches will be conducted by Saab this month and three more will be scheduled for next year.

Read the full story:  Saab advances Meteor missile trials with Gripen​

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"The Czech Gripen Offset Programme is certainly among the most successful industrial cooperation programmes that Saab has executed,” Jerry Sigfeldt, Vice President Saab Industrial Cooperation, said while announcing the publication of the Czech Gripen Offset Programme annual performance report for the year ending December 31 2012.

According to the report, the Czech Gripen Offset Programme has delivered 27.4 billion CZK to the Czech Republic as of December 31 2012.

The report highlights that 107 per cent of total offset obligation (130 per cent of the Gripen fighter lease contract value) has been delivered to the Czech Republic. In total, there were 49 registered Gripen offset transactions till December 2012.

“The Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic has approved the 2012 Annual Report for the Gripen Offset Programme. As of December 31 2012 the total percentage of fulfillment amounts to 107 per cent of the obligation. The Programme runs to our satisfaction and in accordance with the terms of the Offset Agreement," said Brigadier General Pavel Bulant, Director of the Armaments Office at the Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic.

The Czech Gripen Offset Programme runs from June 14 2004 to December 31 2014.

Read the full story:  Gripen Offset Programme delivers 27.4 billion CZK to the Czech Republic​

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At Paris Air Show 2013, Saab announced that it is working on an unmanned version of Gripen to keep the program viable for another 30 years, reports  Bloomberg.

"The concept would follow the development of the Gripen E, an upgraded model of the jet Saab is developing for the Swedish and Swiss air forces," Saab CEO Hakan Buskhe said.

The Bloomberg report says that the emergence of increasingly sophisticated air defenses is driving military planners around the world to explore greater use of unmanned planes to mitigate risk to personnel. Describing the concept, Hakan Buskhe, in his presentation at the Paris Air Show 2013 said that customers can acquire a fleet of aircraft that can operate both manned and unmanned as per the need; the dull and dangerous tasks can be remotely piloted. It would be an optionally manned version and hence a more cost effective solution. 

In an interview with  Ny Teknik, Eddy De La Motte, Head of Gripen Export says, “There was a huge amount of interest and we got a lot of questions about the new concept.” 

Read the full story:  

Saab Working on Unmanned Gripen to Keep Combat Jet Competitive

"Valfritt flyga Gripen med - eller utan pilot"​

You can watch the webcast of the Gripen briefing by Hakan Buskhe, President and CEO, Saab at the Paris Air Show 2013:  Breaking The Thought Barrier​

Hungarian Gripens were recently sent to participate in Adriatic Strike 2013, a five day long military exercise in Slovenia, reports honvedelem

The exercise focussed on Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) which refers to a soldier who operates a special system and is constantly in touch with the staff of the nearby combat aircraft, providing them with information for attacking a target. 

“In practice, this means that the land based force and the air force have to work towards the same end.  JTAC is the link that supports this”, says Brigadier General Albert Sáfár.

Besides Hungary, soldiers from Slovenia, America, France, Croatia, Montenegrin, Italy and Austria also participated in the exercise.

Read the full story:Csapás az égből

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“There are many Thurgau companies that offer specialized, high quality and competitive products and can be viable partners for companies like Saab,” says Thurgau based economic promoter Marcel Räpple.

In an interview with Swiss dailyTagblatt​, Marcel Räpple says that he can see good opportunities for eastern Switzerland in the Gripen E programme. 

“Saab has obtained a comprehensive overview of the industrial capabilities of Eastern Switzerland. This increases the chances of our economy benefiting suitably in conjunction with the potential fighter jet purchase. From this perspective, the economic offices in the cantons of St. Gallen, Thurgau and both Appenzells have supported the information event initiated by Saab,” Räpple says.

Read the full story:Ostschweiz ist bei Saab jetzt ein Begriff

“The potential to sell Gripen is greater today than it was five years ago. This is because Gripen is cost-effective,” says Hakan Buskhe, President and CEO, Saab.

A news report in SVD highlights that with reduced defence budgets, the demand for economical fighter aircraft is bound to rise.

SVD quoted Hakan Buskhe saying "We are, in fact, the only ones who have broken the cost curve. Gripen C became cheaper than the Gripen A. Gripen E gets even cheaper.”

The report adds that Saab is planning to sell more Gripen C aircraft during the current decade and is also aiming for the next big step:  to develop an unmanned aircraft.

Hakan Buskhe assures the Swiss taxpayers that they do not need to worry as the future costs will not be higher than what Saab and the State has agreed to.

“I deem the risk that costs would increase is equal to zero. I guarantee the price we signed on. It is actually unique for a company to give something like this in writing," says Håkan Buskhe.

Read the full story:  Saabchefen förbereder förarlös version av Gripen​

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