This interview was written by Mario Sabino and published on Veja Magazine (Yellow Pages), February 2014.
Hakan Buskhe, CEO of Saab, the company that sold the Gripen jets to Brazil, explains how education and the need to do more with less are key to the success of his company and his country.
Anyone arriving at Saab's offices in Stockholm, located on one floor of a small building without doormen, is shocked by the frugal atmosphere at what is one of the most cutting-edge companies in the armaments industry with almost 15,000 employees and which beat the Americans and the French to win a contract to supply Brazil with 36 fighter Jets – the Gripen NG, for Next Generation – at a cost of $4.5 billion. However, according to the 50-year-old company CEO Hakan Buskhe, it is this philosophy of simplicity which is behind Sweden's success. Before another trip to Brazil last week to meet with the commander of the Air Force and the minister of Science, Technology and Information, he granted us the following interview.
In 2009, when former President Lula announced that the government had chosen French jets to rebuild the Brazilian Air Force, what was the reaction like at Saab?
I hadn't joined the company yet, I arrived in 2010, but I heard that Saab executives and employees felt that the announcement by Brazil's former president came like a bolt of lightning out of a clear blue sky. It was totally unexpected, given their strong relationship with ...
Iceland Air Meet 2014, which came to an end last week, proved to be a successful exercise barring some weather issues. A wide range of air defence related exercises including interoperability exercises and aerial refueling were conducted.
A Swedish JAS 39 Gripen (left), a Norwegian F-16 and a Finnish F/A-18 Hornet participating in an air exercise at Iceland Air Meet 2014
On Thursday, 20th February, the last Swedish Air Force Gripen left Iceland and headed towards Luleå.
“Unlike a regular exercise, IAM2014 lets participants choose what they want to practice along with a control on the level of threat. It is also a very good exercise for the younger staff of the participating flight divisions,” Louise Levine, a participating pilot from the Swedish Air Force says.
“Flying against aircraft other than our own JAS 39 Gripen gives an excellent training to the younger pilots,” Louise adds.
“We thank Iceland for its hospitality, beautiful and harsh weather and the nice flights. But we especially thank for the fish, which is always in plenty in this dramatic country,” says another participating pilot, in a forsvarsmakten report.
Image Courtesy:Iceland Air Meet
Flygflottilj F 21
Read the full story: Adjöss och tack för fisken! Tomma tankar
Saab has started conversations with Brazil regarding the transfer of technology that allows the country to manufacture and develop Gripen NG jet fighters, reports Prensa Latina.
Marco Antonio Raupp, Brazil’s Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, met Hakan Buskhe, President and CEO, Saab on Tuesday to discuss about initiating technology transfer and co-operation between Brazilian and Swedish defence companies.
The minister talked about a national program called "Science without borders", which will be an important tool to create the new technology for Gripen NG manufacturing process.
"The intention is to combine our interests for strengthening the partnership", said Mr. Raupp.
Read the full story: Brazil-Sweden Talks Step up to Transfer Gripen NG Technology
Hungarian blog, 'Air Base' gave an overview of a typical weekday at the Kecskemét air base with pictures. When work at the base starts early morning, the temperature is below the freezing point, but three Gripen are already out of the hangar.
The aircraft’s hydraulic system holds the pressure needed for breaking
The towing-bar is taken off first after the arrival to the zone
Towing-bar, oil, extra tyres and other equipment are kept on the volvo truck
Preparation is followed by filling in the documents. Gripen is ready to take off
Gripen's 'engine start' is checked by two technicians
Pilot checks the aircraft and the documents
Pilot and technician salute when the aircraft starts moving
Gripen takes off and the stand-by aircraft is towed back to the hangar.
Flying in the rain!
The snow slowly melts down from the zone’s concrete. The temperature rises over 0 Celsius and luckily there is no wind
Checking is essential, for both inside and outside of the aircraft
The work on the cold concrete is tiring. As Gripen is build low, all the checking has to be done in squating position or on the knees or like this.
Oil level check followed by refill if needed
Gripen is back at the hangar.
The video shows the experience of Brazilian naval aviator, Romulo Sobral visiting Saab in Linköping, trying his hands at the simulator first and then flying the actual Gripen.
The purpose of Sobral’s visit was to verify that the design requirements of the Gripen confer flight characteristics that demonstrate their conversion potential into a naval version without major and fundamental design changes.
"With Gripen, I am no longer limited to my own range of vision, but I can see much farther away from me, getting an early awareness of what is happening, says FAB's fighter aircraft pilot Carlos Afonso de Araujo who tested the new generation Gripen and gave approval for its purchase.
Carlos has made a detailed report verifying the capabilities of the new Gripen. In an interview with Mediacon News, he talks about the aircraft’s technical aspects that caught his eye.
Carlos says that Gripen is a very easy aircraft to fly and control, adding that it accelerates very fast and can reach high altitudes with high speed while maintaining its performance.
Gripen can receive information from sensors and radars that are very distant: on the ground, or even from other aircraft. This gives the pilot a situational awareness advantage. This technology has never been used before in Brazil. With the current fighter aircraft in the country, a pilot’s vision is limited to the radar’s detection capabilities.
"Gripen is a new dimension. It is not like exchanging an old car for a new one. It is a radical, complete change. It is a new generation aircraft with new concepts, new tactics, new possibilities ", Carlos says.
Read the full story: Piloto que aprovou Gripen para Brasil diz que alcance de visão é diferencial
The Iceland Air Meet which is being held starting February 3, at Keflavik involves a high degree of collaboration between Finland, Sweden and Iceland, reports forsvarsmakten.
The report on the Iceland Air Meet says that the effort started in mid-December when heavier equipment were transferred followed by other intensive logistics requirement. The exercise is conducted within the framework of Nordic cooperation.
The Iceland Air Meet 2014 is the first exercise in which the air forces of Finland and Sweden have been deployed in Iceland. The objective of the exercise includes improving deployment and interoperability, providing additional training opportunities and further integration of the Swedish air force units under NORDEFCO and PFP cooperation, with a view to meet future security challenges. Around 300 people took part in the Iceland Air Meet 2014.
According to News of Iceland, the Nordic Foreign and Defence Ministers met last Thursday in Keflavík and had discussions focusing on recent developments in Nordic security cooperation, practical cooperation in the Arctic, NATO partnerships as well as cooperation in international crisis management.
Read the full story: Rapport från Iceland Air Meet 2014
Image Courtesy: Louise Levin
These are some snapshots from the Iceland Air Meet in which Gripen fighters from the Swedish Air Force are participating for the first time.
The Iceland Air Meet 2014 (IAM2014) brings together participants from NATO member nations Norway, Iceland and the Netherlands, and from partner countries Finland and Sweden, to conduct a wide range of air defence-related flying activities.
Image Courtsey: Norrbotten air wing F 21
The oldest Hungarian veteran fighter jet pilot, János Szentiványi got a ride in Gripen last month when he was invited to visit the Kecskemét Air Base for his birthday, reports Blikk.hu.
When the 94 year old retired lieutenant colonel reached the air base, he had no idea that he would have a chance to wear a G-suit and sit in a moving Gripen.
“It was one of my biggest joy to sit in a Gripen cockpit and roll on the runway paths,” said János Szentiványi to the local press.
Read the full report: Begurult a vitéz pilóta
In an interview with the Brazilian daily Carta Capital, Dan Jangblad, Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) at Saab talks about the possibility of a plant in São Bernardo and manufacturing pilot-less aircraft in future.
“It will be a 'win-win' investment for both Sweden and Brazil because sales volumes will grow. The potential for Gripen has been confirmed by the market, and I am very optimistic. It is a great opportunity for everyone,” Dan Jangblad says.
Dan added that Saab also works with unmanned aircraft and on being asked if such equipments can be manufactured in Brazil, he says that it is certainly possible.
“As said before, Brazil is a very advanced country in terms of its aviation industry. And we do see a potential for partnerships here, even in the case of unmanned vehicles. The expertise is definitely available in Brazil, we simply need a partner who is interested in drones.
Read the full story: Nas asas da Saab
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