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The Smart Fighter

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Jamie Hunter won the 2010 Aviation Week Photo Contest Military Category with one of his Saab Gripen photographs taken in August during a visit to Linkoping, says a Saab release.

The photographer shot the Gripen NG Demo in formation with a JAS 39D in the midst of bad weather, heavy rains and low clouds over Linkoping.

A presentation by SAAB AB speaker Andreas Von der Heide during the 5th International Conference on Energizing Indian Aerospace Industry held in DRDO Bhawan, New Delhi, on “Maintenance, Repairs, and Overhauls: The International experience and lessons” made the following points:

Lesson one: Keep your customers fleet airborne at a low LCC

Lesson two: MRO starts at the drawing board

Lesson three: Work with local partners

Lesson four: Achieve full technology transfer including IP toyour local partners

Lesson five: The global MRO market presents a fantastic opportunity


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Saab gets.jpg
Saab has been awarded an interim support and services contract from ARMSCOR in South Africa involving the South African Air Force´s growing fleet of Gripen C and D advanced fighter aircraft. The agreement covers interim support services for the time until the fleet is fully operational, according to a Saab Press Release.

The Interim Product Support contract is an on demand based contract with a fixed part covering the framework for the 17 months period from the 1st November 2010 to end of March 2012. On demand services are typically Maintenance Repair & Overhaul, engineering support services in Sweden or on base in South Africa and resupply of spares.

The total value of the contract is 44 MSEK.Saab was also awarded a contract for delivering a Multi Emitter Environment Simulator for Gripen with a total value of 45 MSEK.Saab in South Africa has been contracted to develop and test an interface between the Gripen mission support system and the SAAF current intelligence system.South Africa has ordered 26 Saab Gripen C & D advanced fighter aircraft as part of the strategic defence package.

The Gripen programme for South Africa is on track according to the contract. Gripen is being used in real air policing missions, even though the system is neither fully delivered or declared fully operational.

The use of Gripen during the FIFA world cup last summer was a great success from this perspective, says the release.

Photo Courtesy: Saab

More news out of South Africa. A Saab press release reports that the Gripen weapons and sensor integration programme is moving ahead with the integration test flight with the new Thales Digital Joint Reconnaissance Pod for the South African Gripen being carried out successfully at the Saab test and evaluation facilities in Linköping, Sweden.

The integration test took place on a South African series production of the Gripen. The Recce Pod completed its factory integration tests in June this year and is now completing the integration tests on the Gripen platform. The reconnaissance pod will be delivered to the South African customer after the integration phase next year.“We are at full speed ahead regarding our weapons’ and integration program for Gripen .

The capabilities of Gripen and the ease of weapons and sensor integration are exceeding all our expectations. It is a truly remarkable platform to work with and fly. We see no boundaries and limitations for this aircraft and we look forward to continue our co-operation with our customers to keep Gripen at the cutting edge of technology”, says Gripen Test Pilot Johan Sjöstrand.

Image: South African Gripen with Recce Pod. Photo: Stefan Kalm, Saab.

Source: Recce Pod Integration Programme for Gripen at Full Speed

Six More.jpgSaab has received an order from FMV (Swedish Defence Material Administration) for six Gripen aircraft intended for the Royal Thai Air Force. The order is worth approximately 2.2 billion SEK.

The six Gripen aircraft are of the single-seat C version and the project duration is between 2010-2013. They are part of an inter-governmental transaction where FMV, as representative of the Government of Sweden, sells an integrated air-defence system based on products manufactured by Saab, including Gripen.

At a ceremony in Stockholm today, the Director General of Sweden’s Defence Materiel Administration, FMV, Gunnar Holmgren and Itthaporn Subhawong, Air Chief Marshal, Commander in Chief of the Royal Thai Air Force, signed an agreement for the delivery of a further six Gripen fighter aircraft. Apart from the Gripen, Saab will upgrade the Saab Erieye radar system equipped Saab 340. This is the second phase of the co-operation between the Kingdom of Sweden and the Kingdom of Thailand, the first phase started with the agreement in February 2008.

The agreement also includes logistic support and training. Delivery of the Gripen aircraft will take place during 2013.

“The order strengthens the co-operation between Thailand and Sweden. It also serves as further proof of Saab’s ability to deliver sophisticated integrated defence systems as well as strengthening international faith in the Gripen system,” says Håkan Buskhe CEO of Saab.

Getting it right.jpg
An authority on aerospace in India, Air Cmde (retd) Jasjit Singh, Director of the New Delhi-based Centre for Air Power Studies (CAPS), in an article “Factors That Should Determine the MMRCA”in the latest issue of the Indian Defence Journal Vayu Aerospace & Defence Review and reproduced in the defence blog Livefist has said that “the choice that comes closest to the ‘medium’ multi-role aircraft that the IAF has been seeking since a decade ago (the Mirage-2000 type) is the Swedish Gripen IN which has maximum and empty weights at around 17,000 kg and 7,000 kg respectively, almost equal to that of the Mirage-2000.”

According to Air Cmde Singh, “Since the Mirage 2000 is not in the running anymore, this makes it necessary to focus on the aircraft type closest to the medium combat aircraft, that is, the Swedish Gripen and Lockheed-Martin F-16, with the EADS Eurofighter Typhoon included at the higher end. Gripen’s manufacturers could also offer some aircraft from Swedish Air Force reserves as an interim. However much would depend on what is carried by the aircraft in terms of avionics and weapons apart from its flying performance that meets our needs.”

The former head of the Indian think tank Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) in New Delhi draws attention to the “larger issue that should receive serious attention: this refers to the other matter we set out to deal with, that is the impact of acquisitions from abroad on our aircraft industry in ...

eight-200x300.jpgSAAB, which is participating in contract for supplying 126 aircraft that the Indian Air Force plans to acquire, is bullish on the prospects in the Indian market, report Preeti Mehra and Ashwini Phadnis for the Indian Newspaper Hindu Businessline after meeting Saab’s CEO Hakan Buskhe.

“SAAB sees great opportunity to expand our businesses here. Not only for Gripen, but also other things. The importance of India for SAAB can probably be best gauged from the fact that in the two months that, I have been CEO, I have made two trips to India,” its Chief Executive Officer, Mr Hakan Buskhe told Business Line. Apart from the Air Force contract, SAAB is also participating in contracts in other Defence-related sectors, including civil security.

Saab CEO Håkan Buskhe is currently on a four day visit to India with deputy CEO, Lena Olving and Senior Vice President Industrial Co-operation, Andreas Von der Heide. According to a Saab press release, during their visit they will meet with a number of Indian Industries to discuss potential future co-operations.

The CEO told Businessline that  the company will look to increase its workforce here along with its Indian partners. It recently signed a letter of intent to set up an R&D centre with Mahindra & Mahindra. “We will set it up with partners like Mahindra and others. We are able to manufacture in Sweden to a very efficient way. What we are looking for is to increase the number of engineers. If ...

nine-300x230.jpgOn the 20th of October, Akaer released to Saab the first 3D model and production drawing of the Gripen NG in Sao Jose de Campos, Brazil, according to a Saab press release.

Akaer and Saab has signed an agreement last year for participation in the Gripen NG development program. The agreement was to lay the foundations for support to Saab’s development and production for the rear and intermediate fuselage sections, wings and landing gear doors for Gripen NG.

A team of Brazilian engineers from Akaer have been stationed in Sweden to acquaint themselves with the NG project to participate in the development and to learn about Saab’s requirements and methods in the form of technology transfer through ‘on the job training’.

At the same time, facilities at Akaer in Brazil were prepared and certified for the work activities related to Gripen NG development, including special security controlled areas equipped with advanced network systems connected with Saab in Sweden.

During 2010 the Akaer team participated in the conception phase including design, stress, tooling and industrialization. The activity migrated to Akaer’s facilities in Brazil along the year.

The technical package including the 3D model and production drawings released today was sent to Saab’s data bank in Linkoping, Sweden through a secure datalink.

Akaer is leading the T1 Brazilian consortium that includes Inbra Aerospace, Friuli, Minoica and Winstall involved in the development of the Gripen NG intermediate and rear fuselages, wings and main landing gear doors.

If selected for the Brazilian ...

Gripen Fires.jpg
The Swedish FMV recently conducted a so-called Safe-Separation firing from Gripen with the Meteor missile at the Vidsel test range. It was the first live-firing for the Swedish Integration programme, according to a Saab press release.  Gripen has been the launch platform from the start of the development of the Meteor missile.

The purpose of this test was to verify the model on separation of the missile from the aircraft. The impact from the missile exhaust plume on the aircraft engine was also studied. As an important part of the integration work the data-link was verified as well, says the release.

Meteor4562_360.jpgSaab reports that an initial evaluation showed that the missile separated from the inboard pylon station in a normal manner and the data link between the missile and the aircraft was activated. Temperature data from the aircraft engine was also monitored. The missiles flight was terminated as planned at a predetermined position.

“Saab together with FMV Test & Evaluation Department accomplished the campaign very successfully. Saab evaluates and analyzes the data gathered from the test firing together with the supplier,” the release quotes Michael Östergren, Project Manager at FMV.

With this firing the first of two phases in the Swedish integration is now completed. The first phase was designed to support the development of the missile while the next phase is designed to fully integrate the missile on Gripen. The final integration with Gripen for the Swedish Air Force has recently begun and is expected ...

Håkan Buskhe has only been CEO of Saab for one and a half months but he has already travelled the globe marketing Gripen to several countries. Mr Buskhe got his first flight in the Gripen fighter, taking-off from the Saab airfield in Linköping, Sweden, says a Saab release.

The flight, in a Gripen D  lasted for 1 hour and 8 minutes, with Ola Rignell, head of Saab Flight Test in the front seat. That included two sorties with a hot refuelling in between.

“I’m living my childhood dream right now, and the flight in Gripen was just the icing on the cake. I´ve been briefed by the engineers that design the aircraft, visited the different stages of production and talked to some of the fantastic people that build the aircraft and now I’ve spent time at our Flight Test department. And remember, Gripen is just one of our world leading products.”

Håkan Buskhe had the opportunity to pilot the aircraft himself. He was also fortunate to meet up with one of the brand new Gripen aircraft produced for the Royal Thai Air Force and took part in formation flying.

“What I remember most is when we were flying 60 feet above the Baltic Sea and then suddenly afterburner on and we were climbing straight up to 30 000 feet. Like a  rocket.”

Back on ground again Håkan Buskhe was congratulated by the first Gripen pilot, Stig Holmström, and presented with his own personal desk top model of Gripen D.

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