SAAF has no Gripen support contract
Written by Guy Martin, Wednesday, 17 July 2013
Magnus Lewis-Olsson, President of Saab South Africa, told defenceWeb yesterday at the Land Forces Africa conference in Pretoria the SAAF had been living on interim support contracts, but since April had no support contracts at all.
Lewis-Olsson said Saab was hoping to get a support contract in place within the next few months.
He was concerned the SAAF would not be able to operate the Gripen without some form of support contract – the Air Force at the moment does hands on maintenance work, but it is not a good for the aircraft to fly for extended periods without proper maintenance and support.
South Africa ordered 28 Saab Gripen C & D advanced light fighter aircraft in 1999 as part of a “strategic defence package”. The order was later trimmed to 26. The Gripen were acquired as a package with 24 BAE Systems Hawk Mk120 lead-in fighter trainers. In 2007 Treasury put the cost of the Gripen acquisition, Project Ukhozi, at R19.908 billion. By August 2011, the SAAF had spent R151 million on Gripen support.
In March Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula told Parliament 12 Gripens were in long-term storage. This because the SAAF did not have the necessary funding to fly them.
As far back as 2010 previous Defence and Military Veterans Minister Lindiwe Sisulu warned a lack of money could ground the Gripen. That year’s Department of Defence annual report also warned “combined with recent funding cuts for the medium term expenditure framework period, the air force will only be able to sustain the Hawk system”.
“Without adequate funding levels being provided, the air force will not be able to meet its mandate in terms of defence or its support of government initiatives in the medium and longer term. The unwanted reality is portions of aircraft fleets may have to be placed in long-term storage, and certain capabilities, units or bases may have to be closed down,” the report stated.
Top stories this week
- All is not well in the Department of Military Veterans - DA
- Mapisa-Nqakula wishes for a defence budget that is two percent of GDP
- Denel Mechem producing Casspir cargo truck
- Problem areas for Seriti Commission named by retired police general
- Positive results from UAVs trialled as anti-poaching tool in Kruger
- Denel ISM upgrading Joint Air Reconnaissance Intelligence Centre in conjunction with Airbus
- Airbus talking to SAAF on A400M, A330MRTT and C295
- Paramount SAAF Museum Air Show promises to be a goodie
- Denel exploring Rooivalk programme restart
- Stretched SAAF maritime capability faces increased workload
- South Africa and the US talking about replacement C-130s
- A-Darter contract moves missile programme forward
- Saab Grintek Defence growing as global EW player
- Presidency and SANDF deny Zuma helicopter taxi service reports
- 2015 Air Force Day speech by F Z Msimang
Executive appointment brings new vision, expertise to SPP
by Nautic Africa, 26 May 2015
Cape Town-based Southern Power Products has strengthened its executive team with the appointment of Jacques Brümmer as CEO.
Paramount's Anti-Poaching and K9 Academy scoops top global, South African awards for best PR campaign
by Paramount Group, 22 May 2015
The company was awarded a Gold Sabre in the Geographic Category for Africa for Paramount's K9 Anti-Poaching Awareness Campaign.
Saab receives order for artillery ammunition
by Saab, 20 May 2015
Work on the SEK 114 million order will be performed by Saab's subsidiary, Saab Bofors Dynamics Switzerland.
Airbus Defence and Space launches satellite data management solution for machine-to-machine networks
by AIRBUS Defence & Space, 5 May 2015
The satellite data management solution for machine-to-machine networks provides visibility and control of satellite data in a single multi-device solution.
Upgraded PS-05/A radar gives Gripen C/D extended performance, operating range
by Saab, 29 April 2015
The PS-05/A Mk4's hardware configuration with a new radar back-end gives improved radar performance and operational range, says Saab.
Saab signs contract with Brazil on weapon acquisition for Gripen NG
by Saab, 28 April 2015
The total order value for the Gripen NG weapon acquisition by the Brazilian Ministry of Defence is approximately $245 million.