17 October 2007, in
Saab will upgrade 31 Swedish Gripen aircraft to the latest standard. The contract with FMV, the Swedish Defence Material Administration, is worth SEK 3.9 billion, also covering a demonstrator programme for Gripen’s future development.
The contract, which was signed today, follows decisions taken earlier this year by the government and the parliament based on a proposal by the Supreme Commander of the Swedish Armed Forces. Of the total value, approximately SEK 3 billion is a new order for Saab, while the rest consists of investments that had previously been agreed to.
“The order is a clear sign that Sweden believes in Gripen’s future,” says Saab’s CEO Åke Svensson. “The upgrade ensures the Gripen production, and the demonstrator programme gives us the opportunity to prove Gripen’s strong development capabilities.”
The contract with FMV covers the upgrade of 31 Gripen from the A/B standard to the latest C/D version. As a result, the Swedish Air Force will have a uniform Gripen fleet with greater functionality, which will improve cost-effectiveness and create new opportunities to participate in international missions. The upgrade begins later this year.
The contract also includes an order for a demonstrator programme for Gripen, consisting of one aircraft and a ground-based avionics rig. The aim of the programme is to show Gripen’s future capabilities, and it includes, among other things, a new, more powerful engine, new radar and the capability of carrying more payload and fuel.
Besides Saab, a number of leading international companies have chosen to invest in the programme, including General Electric, Honeywell, Martin-Baker, APPH and Rockwell Collins. The Norwegian government has also decided to participate in the development. Saab’s commitment to the demonstrator programme alone amounts to approximately SEK 1 billion.
“The demonstrator programme ensures Gripen’s long-term value and takes the system into the future. It is gratifying that such important players share our conviction about Gripen’s capabilities and future potential,” says Åke Svensson.