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Category: Gripen E/F

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Bulgaria has sent requests for proposals to Italy, Portugal, the United States and Sweden for the delivery of multi-role fighter jets.

Bulgaria is looking for a NATO compatible fighter to replace its ageing Soviet-designed MiG-29 fighters. It was earlier this year in March when the Bulgarian government gave a go-ahead to a fighter procurement programme. 

Besides Gripen, the shortlisted aircraft include second-hand F-16 from Portugal, equipped with U.S. weaponry and second-hand Eurofighter Typhoon fighters from Italy.

According to Reuters, the four countries have three months to reply.

Read the full story here.

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Canadian company Héroux-Devtek has been awarded a contract to deliver landing gear systems for Gripen E fighters, reports UPI.

“Héroux-Devtek is proud to further enhance its long-standing relationship with Saab. Our U.K. operations have designed and manufactured landing gear systems for previous variants of the Gripen aircraft and this new contract acknowledges their expertise on an important program," said Martin Brassard, Vice-President and CEO of Héroux-Devtek.

Héroux-Devtek will manufacture, assemble and deliver complete landing gear systems for the 96 Gripen E fighters being developed for the Swedish and the Brazilian Air Force.

There has been a great interest in Gripen ever since Brazil announced its decision to acquire 36 Swedish fighters. The aircraft is being considered by several other countries and this contract also has an option for Saab to award the manufacturing of additional complete landing gear systems to Héroux-Devtek.

The deliveries of the landing gear systems are expected to begin next year.

Read the full story here.

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“We have two very good products, the Gripen C/D and E, and interest in both planes is very large. The most interesting aspect of the new model is that it is designed to withstand far more complex and high-tech missions. It can be flown longer, it can carry heavier weapons and is built for the future. The most advanced technology available is in the new Gripen”, says Richard Smith, Head of Gripen Marketing in an interview with Expressen

On being asked about price, Richard said that it all depends on the model and the package selected by the customer. But he added that Saab has a unique proposition with the Gripen, both in terms of price and operational cost.  

Richard added that Saab is very active in the market right now. Potential Gripen customers include Colombia, Canada and Finland. Saab is waiting for a Request For Information from Belgium. Negotiations with Slovakia are in full swing and the company is hopeful about a potential deal in Croatia as well.

Saab is also planning to offer Gripen to Switzerland again. "We're going to make a new effort in Switzerland, and I seriously believe that we will win," he said.

Read the full interview here.

The Gripen E programme has seen great progress and the aircraft is responding really well to all our test and verification activities. Since the unveiling of Gripen E in May, we have achieved major milestones and now we can add one more – the taxi testing. 

So, it’s time to roll!​

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Transfer of technology, and the partnership with the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) and Brazil are two of the biggest advantages of the Brazilian Gripen programme, which includes the purchase of 36 Gripen NG aircraft for FAB, according to Saab President and CEO, Håkan Buskhe.

In an interview with Defesanet, Buskhe elaborates that the partnership is advantageous for both countries as it broadens the possibilities in the area of defence for Brazil and gives them access to unprecedented technological capacity for developing fighter jets; at the same time, it helps Sweden in the discovery of potential markets.

According to him, Gripen is the aircraft of the future. It redefines the way an advanced aircraft – that offers relevant operational capabilities for the future and new technology at a reasonable cost – is built and operated. “Computers, processors and electronic items are continuously evolving and it is important that you can update them as new technologies emerge in the market. The Gripen NG system was created specifically with future developments in mind. By isolating systems that affect core flight abilities, the aircraft's separate avionics system enables the integration of ready-to-use products,” says Buskhe.

Answering a question on Saab’s and the Swedish production sector’s view on the manufacture of Gripen in Brazil, Buskhe said building technical competence and capability in Brazil creates new opportunities in several areas. Most importantly, Brazil's operations could be part of a supply chain for future production volumes or specialized production in certain areas. 

The partnership with Saab ...

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Saab has offered to set up a brand new production line in India if it wins an Indian Air Force (IAF) contract for Gripen, once all necessary procedures are in place, reports Economic Times.  

"We are not planning to move an old production line to India. Our offer is to build a brand new production line for the next generation fighters and the next after that. This will be putting India on the aerospace map as a net exporter of fighters," says Saab India Chairman and Managing Director Jan Widerström.

Saab is ready to offer complete transfer of technology and build up capability in India for manufacturing and production. Widerström emphasises that Saab would like to set up a manufacturing hub in India for global Gripen orders in future. “We will fully comply with the Indian government's regulations on export of defence equipment,” he says. 

Saab believes that Gripen would be a good fit for India’s fighter aircraft requirements. A couple of months ago India had sent out a Request for Information on single-engine fighter aircraft for the Indian Air Force, which Saab has responded to.

"Our business model is to work through partnership with countries and companies. We have the full backup of the Swedish government on this," Widerström noted. 

Read the full storyhere​

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A group of Swedish Air Force pilots met their Brazilian counterparts last month and talked about operating Gripen and discussed the associated infrastructure and logistics.

The pilots were accompanied by the Saab Campaign Director in Brazil and the Swedish Defence Attaché, Lieutenant Colonel Christer Olsson. The meeting was aimed at increasing interactions between the pilots of the two countries. The Brazilian pilots also got to know about the various aspects of Gripen operation in Sweden and about the necessary adjustments for receiving the aircraft.

"Brazil is a strategic partner in the Gripen NG programme. As Sweden and Brazil will operate the same plane, it is very important to know each other, "explains Colonel Christer Olsson.

Colonel Olsson also added that this meeting was important not just for Brazil, but also for Sweden. During these interactions, the Swedish pilots also got an opportunity to understand how things work at the FAB Air Force.  “There would be more such exchanges in future,” he says. 

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: Fab.mil

​Full throttle. Just as the Gripen E programme is going at full speed, the GE F414G engine is doing the same in the test aircraft. Engine on.

Validation and verification activities such as tests in rigs and simulators have been performed and the ground test period is in full swing. The way model based development has been implemented, has been successful. "Power on" and engine starts are just two examples of important milestones that has been accomplished during the last months.

“We are encouraged about the progress in the programme. The aircraft is responding really well to all our test and verification activities. Since the rollout in May, we have performed major milestones such as powering on the aircraft and engine start. What is left before we can take off, is software qualification to formally prove what we already informally know through our extensive testing,” says Lars Ydreskog, Head of Operations at the Aeronautics business area.

In an interview with IHS Jane's, Saab test pilot André Brännström elaborates on Gripen features and explains how the fighter maintains the highest level of capability.

"We have a range of capabilities - from air-to-air, to air-to-ground and recce. And Gripen is easy to fly. By just pushing a knob, I can go air-to-ground from an air-to-air mission. We can also do it together. I can do a close air support and an air surveillance at the same time," Brännström says.

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Saab has sent a response to Finland's Request For Information (RFI) on a new fighter, reports IHS Jane's.

"We have responded to Finland's RFI, which actually was more like a request for proposal [RFP], and we will now wait for their response," the head of the Gripen programme, Jerker Ahlqvist, said.

Saab is offering the Gripen E/F model aircraft for this particular requirement.

Last year in October, Finland formally launched the HX project to replace F/A-18C and seven F/A-18D Hornets that have been in service since the mid-1990s.

Finland will analyze the information from the various RFI responses and develop its final requirements for the HX project. A formal RFP will be sent out in 2018 and the announcement of the selection of new fighters is due in 2021. 

Read the full story here.

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