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jacob_wallenberg.jpgIn a recent article in NZZ, Swedish industrialist Jacob Wallenberg talks about his long term goals and how the family stays in the game.

“When I wake up in the morning my first concern is to get everything going! I need to make sure the businesses are working properly. They have to make profits so they can pay dividends. Only then can they feed our foundations, which put the money into schools, education, research,” Wallenberg says.

Through Investor and their foundations, the Wallenbergs are the largest shareholders in, for example, ABB (7.8%) and Saab (47.6%). Talking about Gripen, Jacob Wallenberg explains that Switzerland is not taking any risks by buying the new generation aircraft. “The government and parliament in Sweden have decided to support the development of the next generation of Gripen,” Wallenberg assures.

He informed that since February 2003, the value of Investor shares has increased more than five times. “We are long term shareholders, and when I say long term, I mean more than 50 years. The family sees itself as an active shareholder which is why we sit on the board of every company in which we have a stake. We believe in continuously moving companies forward,” he said.   

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“I can still feel the excitement and the happiness of getting into my life’s first flight and that too in a Gripen! I couldn’t have asked for more,” tells Shashank HR, winner of Gripen Top Guns 2011 at the Gripen Top Gun lunch organized during Aero India 2013.

The Gripen Top Gun lunch was attended by Shashank HR, Joanna Sjolander, Marketing Director, Saab India and Ola Rignell, Flight Test Director, Saab. The lunch was a good time to catch up on the two years since Shashank won the coveted Gripen Top Guns contest and took his seat on the magnificent machine with Joanna as the contest organizer and Ola as head of the jury.

Shashank described his entire Gripen Top Gun experience from winning the Ace Level game of the online contest and then going on to win the Simulator round and the final flight. He recounted all the experiences and said, “It is all so clear in my head as if it just happened yesterday. The only difference is that during 2011, I was so spellbound after the flight that I could not talk. Today, I can express vividly. The stardom that the contest gave me is unparalleled. I would like to thank the Gripen team for giving me this once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Joanna said, “It feels good to see where the Gripen Top Gun contest started from and the stature where it has reached today. It is so overwhelming.” 

Ola recounted his experience of Gripen Top ...

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Besides Brazil, Peru, another South American country Peru is showing interest to buy Gripen, says a news report in  Corren.

Peru is planning to buy a new fighter aircraft to replace its current fleet of Mirage 2000 and MiG-29. It has turned to various aircraft manufacturers asking for information requests.

Read the full story:Peru Shows Interest in Gripen

Eddy de la Motte (2) (427x640).jpgSpeaking on the agreement for the Next Generation Fighter Aircraft Gripen E and the development order, ​Eddy De La Motte, Head of Gripen export says, "The contract shows the commitment of the Swedish Government and Armed Forces to the Gripen as the backbone of the Swedish air defence beyond 2040 and is a clear signal that Gripen will stay at the absolute leading edge of technology and remain ahead of the competition. It solidifies Gripen as the most capable and most modern fighter system available on the market. Gripen is the only European fighter with a firm development programme, which gives us a unique competitive advantage not only in Sweden but on the world export market."

Defence and security company Saab has signed an agreement with the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) for Gripen E. The agreement includes development and modification of Gripen E for Sweden during the period 2013-2026 and a possible order for new production of Gripen E from Switzerland. FMV has today placed an initial development order of SEK 2.5 billion for operations during 2013-2014. Remaining orders from Sweden are expected in 2013-2014. The total value of possible orders under the agreement amounts to a total of SEK 47.2 billion.

The Swedish Parliament, has with a broad majority, decided that Sweden will acquire Gripen E. The agreement signed leads to an initial delivery of Gripen E to Sweden in 2018.

The agreement with FMV includes several parts. The first part, ordered today, relates to development of Gripen E in 2013-2014 and is worth SEK 2.5 billion. The remaining parts of the agreement include orders as follows:

  *   Remaining development work for Gripen E to Sweden of SEK 10.6 billion - expected in the first quarter 2013.

  *   Modification of 60 Gripen C to Gripen E with first deliveries to Sweden in 2018 - expected in the fourth quarter 2013 at the latest.

  *   Mission-specific equipment and support and maintenance for Gripen E to Sweden with initial deliveries in 2018 - expected in the fourth quarter 2014 at the latest.

  *   In Switzerland, a possible acquisition of 22 Gripen E is to be processed in the parliament. The agreement therefore includes provisions of delivery of 22 brand new Gripen E, and related equipment to Switzerland, if ...

hellsten_photo_1354251491.jpgDr Hans Hellsten, Senior Radar Expert, Product Management/Emerging Products, Saab recently gave a presentation on Low Frequency Airborne Radar Surveillance at the Aero India 2013.Hans is the product manager and principal engineer in Saab's ongoing CARABAS development program. Carabas ground imaging system enables foliage penetration, wide-area surveillance and automatic target detection.

The presentation ‘Low Frequency Airborne Radar Surveillance- Swedish knowledge and Experience’ provided an overview of 20 years of Swedish low frequency airborne radar experience. It explained about low frequency SAR technology and showed examples how this technology has been realized in the various demonstrators.

Detection of stationary targets by airborne sensors would be simple if the targets visibly stand out from a level background. However, it is not always the case. Targets are generally camouflaged cleverly and hence are difficult to get detected.

To counter this issue, Sweden originated in 1985, and has since then led, the development of low frequency SAR. Expertise is built around the CARABAS 1, CARABAS 2 and LORA experimental systems operated by FOI as well as the development at SAAB of dedicated low frequency radar technology.

The basic CARABAS development started around 1985 at the Swedish Defense Research Agency FOI, as a piece of pure research. The positive results of this research motivated Saab Electronic Defence Systems (EDS) to participate in the development. The collaboration between FOI and EDS has been ongoing since 1992.

Recently, Saab EDS concluded studies in low frequency radar applications of buried target detection and moving target detection. The main areas of application are detection of buried mines, weapon caches and tunnels. The main area of application ...


The Next Generation Gripen program is no longer just a demonstration platform; it is a flying test aircraft. In a few weeks time, the Gripen E/F test aircraft will continue it's test period equipped with Infra-Red Search and Track (IRST). During a press meet on the first day of Aero India 2013 in Bangalore, Swedish aerospace and defense company Saab elaborated on the first delivery of the Next Generation Gripen. 

Speaking at the press meet, Head of Air Domain at Saab AB, Robert Bjorklund said, “The first delivery of the E/F Gripen will happen in 2018 for Sweden and Switzerland. While Sweden has decided to order 60 Next Generation Gripens, Switzerland will procure 22 Gripens.” 

Gripen Next Generation will have a variety of weapons which could include IRST-T, Python 45, Meteor and many more. The E/F Gripen is also more efficiently manufactured than the previous C/D version. 

“As the Next Generation Gripen’s engine is bigger (F414G), the aircraft will be more powerful. We also needed an aircraft which could carry more armaments and Gripen E/F will fulfill that expectation. This Gripen version will have increased capabalities in all aspects, said Mr.  Bjorklund.

The Gripen philosophy includes low life cycle cost, full weapon flexibility, best situational awareness, small logistical foot prints and aircraft design that can be upgraded among others. 

Talking about Saab’s export plans in the near future, Robert Bjorklund said that their vision is to supply more than 300 Gripen fighter aircraft to the export markets within ten ...

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"It is our turn now," says Eddy De La Motte, Head of Gripen export in an interview recently talking about the prospects of Gripen in global markets. Responding to questions on the eve of Aero India, Eddy says that Saab wants to enable India in its aerospace ambitions and believes that the Gripen technologies should be a part of that equation. Here are the excerpts.

How is the Gripen performing in the international market?​

Saab has had a terrific year. The Swedish Parliament voted overwhelmingly for the next generation Gripen, following on the heels of the agreement with the Swiss Government. The Swedish Government has now announced that Sweden will buy 60 Gripen E fighter jets from Saab and has given the approval to Swedish Armed Forces to place a contract with Saab, and we are expecting it early this year. 

Among other milestones from 2012, the extended Gripen lease from Hungary and the delivery of the final aircraft of the South African order are key.

As we see the various opportunities around the world, Saab’s goal is to export at least 300 Gripens within the next ten years. When this objective is achieved, Saab will have 10 percent of the available market. 

There is a real potential to sell 300 Gripen aircraft. It is not unrealistic. Since our new version is more fuel efficient and can carry more cargo than our twin-engine competitors, it has opened up new markets for us. Gripen's low operating cost is a key advantage.

We see an immense interest for ...

The  Air Force Blog says that the Red Flag 2013 went well from a Swedish perspective. The Swedish team completed almost all planned businesses. All the missions were completed with high precision and they were able to effectively defend themselves against hostile air defense. They were able to operate in the dark, collaborated on the L16 and perform tactical AAR.

The Swedish contingent commander, Colonel Anders Segerby said that the experience gathered at the Red Flag is going to be very helpful. "Soon, the data from the mission would be analyzed. The experience gathered at the exercise would be invaluable if the unit is involved in a situation to defend Sweden and also for international efforts like the Libyan Mission in 2011," he said.

Photo Courtesy: Air Force Blog


Aero India 2013 at Bangalore was an occasion for Flight Test Director Ola Rignell and Gripen Top Gun Shashank H R to catch up on the progress of the Gripen NG program and talk about the Gripen. It was also good time to catch up on the two years since Shashank won the coveted Gripen Top Guns contest and took his seat on the magnificient machine.

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