Saab is focusing on developing the next generation of its RBS15 anti-ship missile for its domestic customer’s Gripen fighter and Visby class corvette, reports Monch.com.
According to Michael Hoglund, Head of Marketing and Sales for Missile Systems at Saab, the missiles need to be developed before the Gripen E fighters are introduced to the Swedish Air Force.
“The driving force for the timing of this is the Gripen E,” he says.
Saab received the order for the anti-ship missiles in March 2017. As per the contract, the missiles will be developed in in both air-launched and ship-launched configurations.
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“Model Based Development for Gripen E will allow tactical functions to be uploaded into the system in a span of days instead of years,” Combitech's newly-appointed CEO Lars Ydreskog said at a recently organised event in Linköping, Sweden.
The concept is similar to a smartphone structure wherein, just like apps, subsystems can be easily added or removed. Gripen E's avionics system has separate flight critical functions and tactical features which means the operator can add a new capability or feature without without interfering with any flight critical functions.
With model based development, the number of system failures can be reduced by 90 percent and the errors can be rectified in days and not months. Another advantage of this system is that the verifications can be done in simulators which reduces the need for extensive test flights.
“It is hereby end the discussion if model-based development works or not,” Ydreskog said.
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Developing a fighter for less than 2 billion Euros is made possible by a number of factors and strategic decisions taken at the programme’s beginning. Finding less expensive ways to develop advanced products, which Saab describes as “breaking the cost curve’, is one, reports Defence Aerospace.
Strategies like buying a new engine (GE F414G) or ES-05 Raven AESA radar, and not developing these systems from a scratch – which can be an expensive process - have played an important role as well. But integrating these systems into Gripen E without spending a lot on integration cost was not easy.
According to Jerker Ahlqvist, Head of the Gripen programme, this was solved by adopting new ways of working, including model-based systems engineering (MBSE), model-based development (MBD), and agility. This is to say that the company’s simplified management structure was prepared to react quickly and adapt to change.
The report also mentioned two other factors that helped minimize cost. Saab allows engineers to take decisions without the interference of upper management or committees, which results into a faster development process.
The second factor, which in different guises is on the lips of every executive, is the sense that the company has a duty not only to develop the combat systems needed by the Swedish military, but to develop them at a price the country can afford, the report says.
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The transfer of technology through cooperation with Saab is extremely significant for increasing the technological competence of Brazilian industry," says Jackson Schneider, President and CEO of Embraer Defence and Security.
"Embraer and the other companies committed to this programme will benefit from the transfer of knowledge," he says. "It will make it possible for them to carry out future upgrades to the Gripen fleet and to compete in the market for coming generations of fighters."
Embraer has always been an important partner of Saab in Brazil’s Gripen programme. The opening of GDDN was a key milestone in the Gripen technology transfer programme. The GDDN is located at Embraer premises in Gavião Peixoto in the state of São Paulo. According to Schneider, GDDN can be described as a project work station with professionals mainly from Embraer and Saab, but also from other Brazilian industry partners and the Brazilian customer.
"We can use the Gripen Design and Development Network for future joint projects, such as an export version of the two-seater Gripen. We are also discussing potential additional cooperation outside the Gripen programme."
Schneider considers the project a first-class opportunity for both Embraer and Saab to exchange knowledge."Both companies are very experienced in the aeronautical market and this is a great opportunity to improve our expertise in the development and manufacturing process of a high -standard modern combat aircraft," he says.
A full- scale replica of Gripen E adorns the entrance of the Gripen Design and Development Network (GDDN) in Gavião Peixoto, in the state of São Paulo. Inside, Brazilian and Swedish engineers work together on various 'work projects' under the Gripen NG development programme.
"The idea is that the Brazilian version of Gripen will eventually be manufactured here," says Jonas Petzén, Site and Development Manager at GDDN. “Meanwhile Saab and Embraer will together oversee the development of a two-seater version of Gripen."
The work has already begun on various 'work packages'. These cover the design of the cockpit, including new displays, rigs and simulators, pneumatic systems and ejection systems, overall design and avionics - all of which form the basic infrastructure for other work packages.
"The working climate is extremely creative and is a clear example of a situation where one plus one makes more than two," Petzén says.
According to Petzén, over the next few years, the focus of Saab's cooperation with Embraer and other partners in Brazil will be on development. "The simulator for the air force pilots will come online in 2017, and a manufacturing facility will gradually be built," he says.
One of the Swedish engineers, Johan Beckman who has moved to Brazil to work at GDDN, says things have got off to a great start. “It’s going really well and this is mainly due to the fact that our Brazilian colleagues spent a year in Linkoping. They know how Saab works and how we manage projects.”
In an interview with Defesaaereanaval.com, Bengt Janér, Director of the Gripen Brazil project at Saab, talks about the latest update on the Gripen programme, technology transfer and the role of Brazilian companies in the fighter development.
About the technology transfer process, Bengt says that it started in October 2015. About 150 Brazilian engineers are currently participating in the training program at the Gripen plant in Sweden. In total, there will be over 60 projects under the technology transfer programme, lasting up to 24 months.
Bengt adds that Brazilian company Akaer plays a very important role in the fighter’s development. Akaer’s involvement in the Gripen programme started in 2009. During the first phase, it did a preliminary study of the rear fuselage and parts of central fuselage, wings and main landing gear door. Starting 2012, Akaer was responsible for the complete development of the rear fuselage. After 2014, the company started working on optimization and detailing of the gun unit and central fuselage of the fighter.
Brazilian engineers who were in Sweden for training, are now working at the Gripen Design and Development Network (GDDN) in Gavião Peixoto, in the state of São Paulo, and at AEL and Akaer, companies that Saab has industrial cooperation agreement with.
On being asked about the status of the development process of various Gripen versions, Bengt added that Gripen E’s first test flight would take place in the second quarter of 2017 as planned and Saab is looking forward to talk about the development ...
Adam Nelson from Air Base F17, is the adversary. He is the target that others have to intercept during the TTP (Tactics, Techniques and Procedures)exercise. Flying out of Air Force Division F 21 in Luleå, Sweden, Adam has to train air force pilots to hone their skills.
TTP is an annual Swedish air force exercise aimed to increase military capabilities and combat-readiness. This was the eighth TTP exercise and teams from Norway and Finland also participated under current Cross Border Training Agreement.
The training helps pilots improve interoperability. It also aims to increase their ability to handle live ammunition. One difference from previously completed TTP exercises was that this time, pilots flew Gripen fighters that have been upgraded to the MS20 configuration.
“It means we are learning ways to use the new capabilities of the fighter during exercises like this,” Adam says.
“During TTP, we developed techniques that will be useful in future. This exercise makes us better prepared for future exercises like Aurora,” he adds.
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Swedish Defense Material Administration (FMV) recently awarded a contract to Saab to develop and produce a new generation anti-ship missile system for Gripen E fighters and Sweden's Visby-class corvettes, reports FlightGlobal. For this, Saab is partnering with German brand Diehl Defence, which will be supplying subsystems and performing final assembly and integration of the missile system.
“The deal will deliver weapons with greatly improved capabilities to engage any target, in all [weather] conditions,” says Saab chief executive and President Håkan Buskhe.
According to Saab, RBS15F ER will weigh around 600kg (1,320lb), including a 200kg warhead. The new system is being developed for both air-launched and ship-launched missiles and hence can be integrated to Gripen E fighters and Sweden's Visby-class corvettes.
While speaking about the new missile system and how it varies from the previous missiles in the RBS 15 family, Görgen Johannsen, head of Saab's Dynamic Business Area told Jane's, "We of course build on our history, but the capabilities of this missile differ significantly from the earlier RBS15 variants in terms of range and seeker capability...yes it is a development from what we have done earlier, but it is a new missile. We have been asked to improve the all-weather capability and develop a significant range enhancement. When you see the missile you will observe similarities to what we have done before, but the customer has drawn up a totally different requirement, which makes this a completely different missile."
RBS15F ER anti-ship missile system is scheduled ...
Several of Saab’s larger deals include long-term industrial cooperations with customer countries. The goal is to create good value for both parties.
Many countries around the world have formal requirements and regulations in place which relate to industrial cooperation.
“Even countries that don’t have such formal requirements often want Saab to contribute to their industrial development,” says Anders Edlund, Director at Saab Industrial Cooperation. “In some cases it involves increasing exports, in others it is purely a matter of security – they want to be able to maintain and upgrade the system they have purchased from us.”
The most recent major business deal is Brazil’s purchase of 36 Gripen aircraft. The contract stipulates a number of requirements for industrial cooperation, including the training of Brazilian engineers and workshop personnel. By the end of 2024, more than 350 individuals from the Brazilian Air Force and Saab’s business partners will have taken part in training courses in Linköping, Sweden.
The contract also includes a new hub for technology development and flight tests, which was inaugurated at the end of 2016. A local production facility will be built, and the assembly process at the site is set to begin in the early 2020s. In addition, various research projects are being conducted jointly with the Brazilian Air Force.
Analysis before agreement
When making such an extensive commitment, Saab undertakes a comprehensive analysis of the country concerned before considering entering into an agreement.
“You have to understand the country and its conditions, its driving ...
The low building in an industrial area in Arboga reveals nothing about the high level of technical interaction between Swedish and Brazilian engineers that goes on inside. For seven months, Marcelo Tonial and his two colleagues from AEL Sistemas are spending their days developing the knowledge on how to build and optimize the resources required to maintain the avionics units on Gripen. They are there to acquire the knowledge required to set up a workshop in Brazil for maintaining 36 Gripen fighters ordered for the Brazilian Air Force. “Going to Sweden for the technology transfer process was something I really wanted to be involved in,” says Tonial, who has temporarily left his position at the Research and Development department at AEL Sistemas to lead the Brazilian team in Sweden.
Marcelo Tonial and his colleagues are only three of nearly 350 professionals from Saab's Brazilian partner companies and the Brazilian Air Force that are involved in the Transfer of Technology (ToT), the industrial cooperation and technical exchange programme between the two countries that began in October 2015 and will last until 2024. The aim is to provide the Brazilian aerospace industry with the technology and knowledge needed to develop, assemble and maintain Gripen in Brazil.
In the technology transfer program, the sharing of knowledge goes two ways. AEL Sistemas develops and manufactures technological solutions for defence and security in air and on land and has developed the electronic display for the Gripen aircraft in Brazil.
“The panoramic screen is an ...
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