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Croatia, which issued Request for Proposals (RFP) for the acquisition of up to 12 modern multirole fighter aircraft in July this year, is close to deciding which fighter aircraft will become part of its Air Force. The choice is ultimately down to the F-16 or the upgraded Gripen C/D, reports DEFENDER.hr.

Responding to the RFP, Saab has offered the new Gripen C/D with the latest MS20 package which is currently operated by the Swedish Air Force. According to Pierre Gauffin, Director Gripen Croatia, Gripen has some clear advantages over its competitors in Croatia. Unlike the other offers, Gripen is not a second hand aircraft which means it will stay relevant for years to come. Also, as compared to F-16, Gripen has been a multi-role fighter from the beginning. It also has a history of successful operation in other countries of the region.

The MS20 upgrade makes Gripen a technologically superior aircraft for many reasons. The upgraded Gripen are integrated with the MBDA Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile and Boeing GBU-39 Small-Diameter Bomb, improved radar modes and a new laser designation pod (LDP), among other things.

As per the bid, Saab will supply the first two Gripen planes in 2020 just before the anniversary of Operation Storm, the last major battle of the Croatian War of Independence. The company also said that air policing capability will be available in late 2021 and full operational capability will come in 2024.

Read the full story here.

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In an interview with Jane's, Richard Smith, Gripen's head of marketing and sales, said that the company's offer of new-build Gripen C/Ds fully meets Bulgaria’s requirements.

“We have offered new-build Gripen C/D fighter aircraft that fully reflect the short and long-term security interests of Bulgaria, which includes NATO interoperability and meets the demanding deadlines set by Bulgaria. Delivery time is clearly one of our competitive advantages, together with our ability to offer flexible payment schemes and Gripen’s low life-cycle costs. We believe that these are the grounds for our down-selection in April by the government-appointed independent committee of experts," he said.

Bulgaria had sent a request for proposals (RFP) for the procurement of a new type of combat aircraft to Italy, Portugal and the United States, and Sweden in December 2016. Earlier this year, Gripen C/D was shortlisted as the preferred aircraft over the Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon, offered by Portugal as a second-hand procurement, and Italy's surplus models of the Eurofighter Typhoon. As a part of its offer, Saab promised to deliver the first aircraft within 18 months of contract signature.

Read the full story here.

Håkan Buskhe, President and CEO, Saab, said that the company wants to make the entire aircraft in India. It plans to create a new defence eco-system that would involve many partners, vendors, and suppliers.

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Saab and Indian infrastructure conglomerate Adani Group have announced a collaboration plan within aerospace and defence in India, aligned with the Government of India’s Make in India initiative. The intended collaboration would encompass design, development and production of Gripen for India and other high-tech products of national importance for India and also the creation of joint ventures in India in line with and in support of the Make In India policy.

Saab, in partnership with Adani Group, will discuss possibilities to offer solutions to bring required design and manufacturing capabilities in defence and aerospace to India. A collaboration between Saab and Adani will combine the technical and product excellence of Saab, along with the industrial engineering, system integration and mega project execution capabilities of Adani with the intention to manufacture defence systems locally in India.

With India’s focus on creating future-proof and home-grown capabilities across all industries, Saab and Adani will explore how to cooperate to develop a wider aerospace and defence ecosystem in India. A critical part of a joint roadmap would be to encourage the development of small and medium sized enterprises along with a robust national supply chain.

“We are committed to the India-Sweden relationship and in bringing the latest technology and skills to India,” says Håkan Buskhe, President and CEO of Saab AB. “The Adani Group is one of India’s largest global conglomerates. Adani Group has a long history of entrepreneurship, spanning through decades of dynamic growth.”

“Our plans in India are ...

​What makes Saab the best possible option to be the wingman for India's defence industry? CNBC-TV18 in its special series ‘Make in India: A New Deal for Defence’ explores Saab and Sweden’s plans in India.

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Saab is hopeful about a potential Gripen deal in Croatia, reports Reuters.

Magnus Lewis-Olsson, Head of Market Area Europe, said that Croatia is likely to start taking offers very soon for its fighter aircraft programme.

According to Lewis-Olsson, “if not urgent, then at least it is happening quicker than anticipated.”

Croatia currently operates a fleet of MiG-21 fighter jets which it is looking to replace with multi-role aircraft. Earlier this month, Saab sent a Gripen and a Gripen simulator to Croatia to present the capabilities of the fighter.

As per Pierre Gauffin, Director Gripen Croatia, Gripen has some advantages over its competitors in Croatia. First, Gripen is the latest generation aircraft and will stay relevant for years to come. Also, Gripen has been a multi-role fighter from the beginning.​

Read the full story here.

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As a part of its Gripen C/D export plans, Saab is currently looking at three business opportunities - with Botswana, Bulgaria and Slovakia, says a report in Defense News.​

Saab has offered new-build Gripen C/D fighters, technical training including pilot training, initial logistics support and other local support to Botswana. “We feel the discussions are moving forward with Botswana. We are offering genuine fighter capability for Botswana in the future,” the report quotes Richard Smith, Saab’s head of Gripen marketing.


After Bulgarian interim Deputy Prime Minister Stefan Yanev's recent announcement that Gripen fighters were the preferred option for the country, Saab is hopeful of a likely deal and is waiting for further information.

The Swedish Defence and Security company has also been in talks with the Slovakian government for the last two years and is waiting for their decision.

Richard Smith says that the C variants are being worked upon to reduce the delivery timeline for future orders. However, he didn’t elaborate on it.

Read the full story here.

Photo: Sören Nielsen​

​Here are some pictures from the ongoing Langkawi International Maritime & Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA) 2017.

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A visitor flies Gripen in Virtual Reality
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Chief of Air Force, Sri Lanka at the Saab stand
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1st Admiral Zulkarnain, MMEA Northern Region, and Dato’ Rahman, Deputy Director General MMEA, at the Saab stand
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RTAF Gripen preparing for display rehearsal

​Gripen for India is about partnerships, air power and cooperation, says Mats Palmberg, Vice President, Industrial Partnerships, Saab.

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Hakan Buskhe, CEO and President of Saab, says his company is very keen to supply Gripen fighters to the Indian Air Force and is ready to transfer the entire product planning capability to India. 

“I think we have an extremely good offer. We are building our latest aircraft which will be delivered to the Swedish and the Brazilian air forces as well. We started in 2013. It’s the latest technology. The product is totally digital and we have all the new sensors. So, we will be able to offer the best technology to India," Buskhe said.

Saab's offer includes setting up an aircraft industry and true transfer of technology. According to a Hindu news report, Saab also plans to set up a training academy to train pilots in operating the Gripen.

“More than the production, we have shown our keenness to build up the full capacity in India. Everything from research and development to production planning to developing the complete supply chain, can be done here in India. We are good at technology transfer. We are doing the same in other parts of the world as well," he adds.

Read the full story here.

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