Defence and security company Saab has received a two billion Swedish crown, four year order from FMV (the country’s defence materiel administration) to upgrade the Gripen C/D fighter aircraft in use by the South African and Swedish air forces, among others.
Saab, in a statement, says the capability of the Gripen C/D aircraft “is continuously subject to adjustment and upgrading in order that it can operate and remain effective and advanced also in the future. The order includes further adjustments for increased operational effect, like for instance upgraded countermeasure and communication systems. The order also includes other measures to further reduce the operating costs, based on experience gathered from more than 130 000 flight hours.
“Also included is integration of new weapons, and the existing radar is gaining an increased range along with new functions. Improvements are also being introduced to reduce the noise and emissions from test runs during engine maintenance.”
South Africa has acquired 26 of the aircraft – nine two-seat D and 17 single-seat C – at a cost of R19.9 billion. Eleven aircraft have so far been delivered.