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The Smart Fighter

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“We have two very good products, the Gripen C/D and E, and interest in both planes is very large. The most interesting aspect of the new model is that it is designed to withstand far more complex and high-tech missions. It can be flown longer, it can carry heavier weapons and is built for the future. The most advanced technology available is in the new Gripen”, says Richard Smith, Head of Gripen Marketing in an interview with Expressen

On being asked about price, Richard said that it all depends on the model and the package selected by the customer. But he added that Saab has a unique proposition with the Gripen, both in terms of price and operational cost.  

Richard added that Saab is very active in the market right now. Potential Gripen customers include Colombia, Canada and Finland. Saab is waiting for a Request For Information from Belgium. Negotiations with Slovakia are in full swing and the company is hopeful about a potential deal in Croatia as well.

Saab is also planning to offer Gripen to Switzerland again. "We're going to make a new effort in Switzerland, and I seriously believe that we will win," he said.

Read the full interview here.

Saab is supporting Swedish equestrian and dressage rider Patrik Kittel - an important role model in the sport. Last week Kittel tried  a different kind of horsepower. Looks like he enjoyed his ride.

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The Governments of Slovakia and Czech Republic have signed an agreement that will lead to closer cooperation between the two countries for the protection of their combined airspace, reports

Both the countries have been conducting mutual air surveillance missions for more than two years now. The treaty, approved by the Slovak government, deepens this existing partnership and takes it to the next level.

The two countries protect their airspaces under NATO's integrated system of anti-aircraft and missile defence (NATINAMDS). This bilateral cooperation means they will share the cost of maintenance and pilot training. If there is a temporary loss of capacity to respond to threats, the neighbouring country will step up and enter the incapacitated country's airspace.

Read the full storym here.

The Gripen E programme has seen great progress and the aircraft is responding really well to all our test and verification activities. Since the unveiling of Gripen E in May, we have achieved major milestones and now we can add one more – the taxi testing. 

So, it’s time to roll!​


Saab has initiated a broad outreach programme with the Belgian aeronautics industry and is keen to explore possible areas of cooperation and partnerships with Belgian companies active in the sector. 

This is in context of the Air Combat Capability Successor Program to which Saab’s Gripen is a candidate.

Saab recently held a two-day seminar in Brussels which was attended by companies working in the field of structural technology, avionics, engineering services and maintenance system. During the seminar Saab demonstrated the potential for cooperation within the Gripen life cycle, including development, production and maintenance.

Belgium is looking to replace its aging fleet of F-16 fighters and is reportedly planning to purchase 34 new aircraft. According to a report in IHS Jane’s, it is projected that procurement of the fighters will begin at the end of 2017 or 2018.

The Belgian aeronautics sector possesses important know-how and capacity for innovation. Saab, with its cutting-edge technology and culture of innovation and collaboration, offers sustainable co-operation possibilities to Belgium.

For more updates about Saab in Belgium please follow these accounts: Twitter @SaabBelgium and Facebook @SaabgroupBE.

Read full story here​.

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Transfer of technology, and the partnership with the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) and Brazil are two of the biggest advantages of the Brazilian Gripen programme, which includes the purchase of 36 Gripen NG aircraft for FAB, according to Saab President and CEO, Håkan Buskhe.

In an interview with Defesanet, Buskhe elaborates that the partnership is advantageous for both countries as it broadens the possibilities in the area of defence for Brazil and gives them access to unprecedented technological capacity for developing fighter jets; at the same time, it helps Sweden in the discovery of potential markets.

According to him, Gripen is the aircraft of the future. It redefines the way an advanced aircraft – that offers relevant operational capabilities for the future and new technology at a reasonable cost – is built and operated. “Computers, processors and electronic items are continuously evolving and it is important that you can update them as new technologies emerge in the market. The Gripen NG system was created specifically with future developments in mind. By isolating systems that affect core flight abilities, the aircraft's separate avionics system enables the integration of ready-to-use products,” says Buskhe.

Answering a question on Saab’s and the Swedish production sector’s view on the manufacture of Gripen in Brazil, Buskhe said building technical competence and capability in Brazil creates new opportunities in several areas. Most importantly, Brazil's operations could be part of a supply chain for future production volumes or specialized production in certain areas. 

The partnership with Saab ...


Saab has offered to set up a brand new production line in India if it wins an Indian Air Force (IAF) contract for Gripen, once all necessary procedures are in place, reports Economic Times.  

"We are not planning to move an old production line to India. Our offer is to build a brand new production line for the next generation fighters and the next after that. This will be putting India on the aerospace map as a net exporter of fighters," says Saab India Chairman and Managing Director Jan Widerström.

Saab is ready to offer complete transfer of technology and build up capability in India for manufacturing and production. Widerström emphasises that Saab would like to set up a manufacturing hub in India for global Gripen orders in future. “We will fully comply with the Indian government's regulations on export of defence equipment,” he says. 

Saab believes that Gripen would be a good fit for India’s fighter aircraft requirements. A couple of months ago India had sent out a Request for Information on single-engine fighter aircraft for the Indian Air Force, which Saab has responded to.

"Our business model is to work through partnership with countries and companies. We have the full backup of the Swedish government on this," Widerström noted. 

Read the full storyhere​

The traditional Christmas tree formation flight was conducted yesterday by Skaraborg air wing F7 with 12 Gripen. This is both a nice tradition that is followed every year and also a good exercise for the pilots flying in formation in such a big numbers. 

Next week air wing F17 in Ronneby and F 21 in Luleå, as well as the Air Force Flight School plan to fly their Christmas tree formation too.

A group of Swedish Air Force pilots met their Brazilian counterparts last month and talked about operating Gripen and discussed the associated infrastructure and logistics.

The pilots were accompanied by the Saab Campaign Director in Brazil and the Swedish Defence Attaché, Lieutenant Colonel Christer Olsson. The meeting was aimed at increasing interactions between the pilots of the two countries. The Brazilian pilots also got to know about the various aspects of Gripen operation in Sweden and about the necessary adjustments for receiving the aircraft.

"Brazil is a strategic partner in the Gripen NG programme. As Sweden and Brazil will operate the same plane, it is very important to know each other, "explains Colonel Christer Olsson.

Colonel Olsson also added that this meeting was important not just for Brazil, but also for Sweden. During these interactions, the Swedish pilots also got an opportunity to understand how things work at the FAB Air Force.  “There would be more such exchanges in future,” he says. 

Read the full story here.

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One of the biggest projects today for the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration,​ FMV, is the MS20 upgrade of the Czech Gripen fighters.

MS20 upgrade includes integration of the MBDA Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile and Boeing GBU-39 Small-Diameter Bomb, ISTAR missions plus, improved radar modes and a new laser designation pod (LDP).

The Czech Republic's first Gripen lease contract for 10 years was signed in the year 2004. In 2014, a new agreement was signed for a further 12 years. So the Czech Republic will continue to operate 14 Gripen C/D aircraft until at least 2027. It was this agreement that included several hardware modifications and system functionality upgrades for the Czech fighters.

Officials from FMV and its Czech counterpart meet four times a year, alternately in Prague and Stockholm, to discuss the upgradation process. According to an FMV report, some of the MS20 features for the Czech Gripen fighters will be different as compared to that of the Swedish Air Force fighters.

“There is a delicate interaction task, especially because they obtain a lot of hardware themselves to be reconciled with our packaging and delivery of Version 20 Czech Republic,” says Mikael Löfgren, project manager for the Gripen Czech Republic.

The upgrades of the Czech fighters are due in 2018.

Read the full story here.

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