Saab South Africa, along with Saab in Sweden, will be fulfilling an order for BOZ self-protection pods for the German air force.
Saab on 11 April said the German air force had ordered 29 upgraded BOZ-101 EC pods for its Tornado aircraft. The order was placed by the NATO Eurofighter 2000 and Tornado Management Agency (NETMA) on behalf of the German Air Force.
Germany has some 85 Tornados in service – some of these were recently deployed to Turkey to undertake reconnaissance flights over Syria as part of the country’s efforts against Islamic State and last month four Tornados were deployed to the Denel Overberg Test Range for weapons testing.
Germany’s 85 Tornados include around 60 Interdiction and Strike (IDS) models and around 25 Electronic Combat and Reconnaissance (ECR) variants. These are being upgraded under the Avionics System Software Tornado Ada (ASSTA) programme. Upgrades began in 1998 and will conclude in 2018 to keep the Tornado in service until at least 2025. The latest ASSTA version is 3.1 and allows the Tornados to launch laser-targeted Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM), amongst other things.
The production of the BOZ-101 EC will take place at Saab sites in Järfälla, Sweden and in Centurion, South Africa. Deliveries will take place during 2017-2020.
“The well-renowned BOZ pod has been used on the Tornado for many years. This large follow-up order for the enhanced version confirms Saab’s capability to meet our customers’ need for state-of-the-art self-protection systems to improve their operational capabilities in hostile environments,” said Anders Carp, head of Saab business area Surveillance.
The BOZ self-protection and countermeasures system has been in use on the Tornado for many years, but Saab notes the recent order is for 29 units of the enhanced BOZ-101 EC. The wing mounted pod consists of a missile approach warning system in the aft section and a countermeasures-dispensing system. Dispensing can be performed forward downwards and sideways in two adjustable directions. The dispenser is designed to counter modern infrared-guided threats.
Saab’s South African subsidiary Saab Grintek Defence makes self-protection systems such as the Integrated Defensive Aids Suite (IDAS), which has, amongst others, received multiple large orders from India for its Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopter, manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics.