Gripen goes on

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Two small contracts for the Saab Gripen advanced light fighter aircraft takes the value of known ancillary work related to the R19.908 billion Project Ukhozi acquisition to R153 million.

The latest work was awarded last week and ups the support bill for the fighter to R153 947 95.12. The first contract was R139 583.07 to Martin Baker Aircraft Co. Ltd for the procurement of Metron actuator cartridge for the aircraft’s ejection seat. The second, for R2 511 135.74 was in favour of the Volvo Aero Corporation of Trollhåtan in western Sweden for further “on demand support services” for the fighters’ Volvo RM12 engines.

South Africa ordered 28 Gripen C & D advanced light fighter aircraft in 1999 as part of a “strategic defence package”. The order was later trimmed to 26. The last of these will be delivered early next year. The Gripen were acquired as a package with 24 BAE Systems Hawk Mk120 lead-in fighter trainers.

Although still not an operational system, the SA Air Force’s growing fleet of SAAB Gripen fighters conducted about half the 51 aircraft intercepts conducted during the June/July soccer World Cup. The SAAF deployed 11 of the available 15 Gripen during the month-long tournament as well as 12 of 24 BAE Systems Hawk lead-in fighter trainers.

SAAF chief Lieutenant General Carlo Gagiano said in April that his service could not afford to put its 15 Gripen jet fighters into the air for the required number of hours. “No, we are not going to fly the required number of hours,” he conceded during a media briefing ahead of Minister of Defence and Military Veterans’ Lindiwe Sisulu’s budget vote in the National Assembly. “But the hours that we will fly will ensure that the people and the aircraft are safe and that we do the correct training.”

Gagiano said the air force was getting around the problem by having the cockpits of its fleet of 24 BAE Systems Mk120 Hawk jet trainers “Gripenised” to make for a smoother transition for pilots from one to the other. “We have a few mitigating strategies. First of all as a design principle, we have decided to Gripenise the cockpit of the Hawk so that means that the transition from Hawk to Gripen is almost seemless and very quick. People adapt to the new environment. It is basically just higher performance but they are totally used to the systems.
“We are also in the process of upgrading the [Pilatus] PC-7’s cockpits which is enhancing this process and we intend to pull down work from Gripen to Hawk to PC-7 to do the same kind of training but at a much lower cost.” He said the air force was also using Gripen simulators extensively and this was working very well.

He said the shortage of funding for the Gripen was part of the shortage of funds felt by the defence force, which is a getting a scant additional R1.3 billion this year. “Gripen is part of this under-funding, perhaps because of the cause of this capability it is perhaps more visible there.” The air force’s budget comes to around R6 billion of the total defence budget of just over R34 billion, which Sisulu described as totally inadequate, the South African Press Association reported at the time.

On demand support services for the South African Air Force’s Gripen fighter aircraft engines – extension of ELGS/2008/408

UKZ/S2011/0140 15 Sep 2011 R2 511 135,74 Volvo Aero Corporation

UKZ/S2011/0137 21 Jul 2011 R4 750 690,42 Volvo Aero Corporation

LGS/S2011/0137 14 Jul 2011 R4 750 690,42 Volvo Aero Corporation

UKZ/S2010/0130 13 Apr 2011 R1 422 285,00 Volvo Aero Corporation

LGS/S2010/0128 23 Mar 2011 R1 062 926,00 Volvo Aero Corporation

LGS/S2010/0120 25 Nov 2010 R10 014 851,94 Volvo Aero Corporation

Procurement of Metron actuator cartridge for the Republic of South Africa’s Gripen aircraft ejection seat

EDWU/2011/30 15 Sep 2011 R139 583,07 Martin Baker Aircraft Co. Ltd

Product support for the SA Air Force’s Hawk and Gripen aircraft components, LRU’s SRU’s and ground support and test equipment – extension of ELGS/2007/519

LGS/S2011/4784 18 Aug 2011 R4 972 730,00 Denel (Pty) Ltd t/a Denel Aviation

Interim product support services for the SA Air Force’s Gripen aircraft – extension of ELGS/2009/566

LGS/S2011/0139 28 Jul 2011 R5 000 761,49 Gripen International

LGS/S2010/0129 23 Mar 2011 R3 057 740,00 Gripen International

UKZ/S2010/0123 20 Jan 2011 R123 818,00 Gripen International

Procurement of consumables for the SAAF s Gripen fighter aircraft

ELGS/2010/430 22 Jun 2011 R3 925 113,04 Aga Gas AB

Sundbyberg, Sweden

Aerotechnic South Africa

Kempton Park

Procurement of maintenance ground support systems sun server cabinet for the SAAF Gripen aircraft

ELGS/2009/574 17 Jun 2010 R31 670,90 Mountain Range Investment
t/a BD Private Consulting

Specialist engineering support service for the identification and correction of problems with data communication between Gripen aircraft

EBEB/2010/476 19 May 2011 R918 478,30 CSIR t/a DPSS

Local industrialisation of Gripen E-seat cartridges

EDWU/2010/64 13 Apr 2011 R5 386 470,00 Denel (Pty) Ltd t/a PMP

Assist the Gripen joint project team with on demand technical support – extension of ERES/2008/239

RES/S2010/2212 3 Feb 2011 R66 314,03 CSIR t/a DPSS

RES/S2010/2163 9 Sep 2010 R268 127,42 CSIR t/a DPSS

Repair, service and modification of ground support equipment for the Gripen aircraft – extension of ELGS/2009/239

LGS/S2010/4591 27 Jan 2011 R197 102,00 Tetech Projects (Pty) Ltd

Interim product support services for the SA Air Force’s Gripen aircraft

ELGS/2009/566 18 Nov 2010 R43 717 140,00 Gripen International KB

Development and testing of interface between Gripen mission support system and SAAF current intelligence system

EBEB/2010/301 18 Nov 2010 R273 162,00 SAAB Grintek Defence (Pty) Ltd

Licence agreement for the Gripen aircraft ejection seat power cartridges

EDWU/2009/79 30 Sep 2010 R2 507 898,99 Martin Baker Aircraft Co. Ltd

On demand support services for the SA Air Force Gripen aircraft – extension of ELGS/2008/333

LGS/S2010/4492 22 Sep 2010 R6 175 342,54 Gripen International KB

LGS/S2010/4435 15 Jul 2010 R3 069 337,00 Gripen International KB

LGS/S2010/4412 17 Jun 2010 R6 378 793,80 Gripen International KB

LGS/S2009/4328 22 Apr 2010 R4 501 582,53 Gripen International KB

LGS/S2009/2392 11 Feb 2010 R734 111,09 Gripen International KB

Ejection seat cartridges for Gripen dual aircraft – extension of EDWU/2009/230

DWU/S2010/0583 2 Sep 2010 R2 102 823,19 Martin Baker Aircraft Co. Ltd

Repair, service and modification of ground support equipment for the Gripen aircraft

ELGS/2009/239 10 Mar 2010 R744 100,00 Tetech Projects (Pty) Ltd

On demand support services for the South African Air Force’s Gripen fighter aircraft

ELGS/2008/333 10 Dec 2009 R9 000 008,80 Gripen International KB

On demand support services for the South African Air Force’s Gripen fighter aircraft engines

ELGS/2008/408 10 Dec 2009 R9 002 182,48 Volvo Aero Corporation

Servicing and modification of ground support equipment for the Gripen aircraft

ELGS/2009/49 3 Dec 2009 R1 798 300,00 Quad Precision Engineering

Procurement of dust covers for the SAAF’s Gripen fighter aircraft

ELGS/2009/283 19 Nov 2009 R45 299,94 SAAB Grintek Defence (Pty) Ltd

Power cartridges for the South African Air Force combat aircraft

EDWU/2009/51 25 Jun 2009 R424 646,52 Denel (Pty) Ltd t/a PMP

Testing of interface – Gripen mission planning system – extension of EBEB/2008/85

BEB/S2009/2276 12 Jun 2009 R75 460,80 SAAB Grintek Defence (Pty) Ltd

Assist the Gripen Joint Project Team with on demand technical support

ERES/2008/239 19 Dec 2008 R1 140 350,00 CSIR t/a DPSS

Procurement of aircraft batteries for the SAAF’s Gripen Fighter Aircraft

ELGS/2008/262 4 Dec 2008 R662 500,00 Aztec Components CC

Feasibility study for the local manufacturing of 27 x 145 mm ammunition for the SAAF Gripen aircraft

EDWU/2008/191 9 Oct 2008 R409 630,00 Denel (Pty) Ltd t/a PMP

Development of ammunition and explosive technical manuals for Gripen power cartridges

EDWU/2008/8 11 Sep 2008 R298 900,00 Denel (Pty) Ltd t/a PMP

Testing of interface between the Gripen Mission Planning System and SAAF Intelligence System

EBEB/2008/85 17 Jul 2008 R187 200,00 SAAB Grintek Defence (Pty) Ltd

Power cartridges for SA Air Force Combat Aircraft



EDWU/2007/21 28 Jun 2007 R162 780,00 Denel (Pty) Ltd t/a PMP