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 Swiss order for new production of Gripen E. FMV has 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 decided Sweden will acquire Gripen E. The agreement signed will see initial delivery of Gripen E to Sweden in five years.
The FMV agreement is in several parts. The first relates to development of Gripen E in 2013-2014 and is worth SEK 2,5 billion. The remaining parts include: remaining development work for the Swedish Air Force Gripen Es, expected in the first quarter 2013; modification of 60 Gripen C to Gripen E with first deliveries to Sweden in 2018 and mission-specific equipment, support and maintenance for Gripen E to Sweden with initial deliveries in 2018.
In Switzerland, the possible acquisition of 22 Gripen Es is to be debated in Parliament. The agreement includes provisions of delivery of 22 brand new Gripen Es and related equipment to Switzerland, if the landlocked European country decides on the acquisition.
All orders under the agreement, including a possible order from Switzerland via FMV, amount to a total value of about SEK 47,2 billion and will be booked when each order is received.
The agreement includes rights for FMV, conditional to certain prerequisites, to fully or partly cancel. If so, Saab has the right to compensation for costs already taken and for discontinuation. The agreement also includes sections regulating conditions should Switzerland decide not to acquire Gripen E.
“This is an historic event for Saab. We are proud to continue to deliver a world-leading fighter aircraft to the Swedish Air Force. Gripen has long been the backbone of the Swedish Air Force as well as for several other countries. This next step also creates more export opportunities for years to come. Existing customers operating the Gripen C/D version will also be able to take advantage of some development in their future upgrades,” said Saab President and Chief Executive Håkan Buskhe.
“We are now entering a development and test phase. We also anticipate we will need to recruit. Production will take place in Sweden with suppliers from several countries,” said Lennart Sindahl, Head of Business Area Aeronautics.
“With this agreement we continue to develop the successful Gripen concept with our own innovative and unique design as well as our own software combined with sub-systems from different suppliers around the world.”
Gripen E has a substantially developed capability compared to previous versions. The aircraft is based on the same smart design and innovative technological solutions leading to considerable savings. Gripen E has a more powerful engine with the capacity to operate for a longer duration and carry more weapons and payload. New electronic radar, upgraded presentation systems in the cockpit and modern avionics enhance mission success.
The technological steps on Gripen E have been proven in the Gripen 39-7 E/F demonstrator programme, with the test aircraft flying over 250 hours in Sweden, the UK, India and Switzerland among others since 2008.
Through upgrading both hardware and software, Gripen E becomes a modern system and is easy to develop further.
South Africa, along with Sweden, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Thailand and the United Kingdom’s Empire Test Pilots’ School are current Gripen operators.