Skaraborg Wing displaypilot was awarded at RIAT, Fairford
Skaraborg Wing, F7 Såtenäs, made a very successful display at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) at Fairford in Great Britain.
Both Saturday and Sunday there were air displays. There was also a static display showing the two seat version, Gripen B, with a weapon display. Pilots and ground crew manned the static display which made it possible for all the visitors to ask questions.
Next to our aircraft on the static display there was a Gripen C from the Czech Air Force.
On Sunday evening, at the closing hangar party, our display pilot, captain Henric Holm was awarded the Lockheed Martin Cannestra Trophy for "Best flying demonstration by an overseas participant".
Guess so - thank goodness you've changed your avatar.
hehehe and it will stay like this for a long time don't worry
-------- Wednesday, 19 July, 2006
Saab pledges Indian industrial participation if MRCA bid is successful
Guy Anderson, Jane’s Defence Industry Editor, Farnborough*
Saab has intensified its efforts to secure the contract to meet New Delhi’s requirement for 126 multi-role combat aircraft (MRCA) with a pledge to produce its Gripen fighter in India if it is successful.
The Swedish aerospace and defence group is competing against Lockheed Martin’s F-16; the Eurofighter Typhoon; Boeing’s F-18; Dassault’s Mirage 2000-5 and Rafale; and the MiG-35. India is expected to issue a formal request for proposals later in 2006.
“The real intent behind industrial participation is just that; industrial participation,” Gripen International Managing Director Johan Lehander told Jane’s.
“We encourage our partners to take active roles in the Gripen programme. It is a fact that India demands significant offsets in their MRCA programme.
“Saab is willing to have the entire production setup in India with the first aircraft being produced in Sweden then all remaining aircraft built in India.
Saab’s bid follows strong interest in the deal from Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems. Robert Stevens – chief executive officer, president and chairman of Lockheed Martin – said that “India is clearly a nation we think we can build a lasting relationship with”, while Alison Wood, BAE Systems’ global strategic development director, previously identified the country as a key source of future growth for her group.
It is unsurprising that Saab is looking towards such an offset arrangement to secure the Indian order; industrial participation arrangements are a core component of the group’s strategy.
Previous export sales and lease arrangements relating to Gripen have been underpinned by offset arrangements. Under the 2001 accord with Hungary, it was agreed that Gripen International would generate offsets worth 110 per cent of the original contract value. To date, 70 per cent of the total obligation has been achieved.
The Czech Republic is leasing 14 Gripens with similar offset provisions. Saab announced in 2005 that the offset obligation to Prague totalled approximately EUR830 million (USD1 billion); around 130 per cent of the value of the lease agreement that was signed in June 2004.
Including the Indian requirement, Saab has identified potential opportunities worldwide for the sale (and lease) of more than 330 Gripen fighters.
Saab Chief Executive Ake Svensson said that Hungary is looking to phase out its fleet of MiG-29 aircraft by 2009, while Bulgaria stated in 2004 that it has a requirement for 20 aircraft. Sofia issued a Request for Information (RFI) to Saab in May 2006.
Norway has a requirement for 44 fighter aircraft and Thailand is looking to replace its F-5s. Thailand is looking to set the process in motion in 2007 with a view to an in-service date (ISD) of 2011. Svensson added that there is a lease requirement for up to 12 aircraft in the Baltic states, while there are hopes that Brazil’s cancelled F-X programme will restart after the presidential elections.
Croatia has a requirement for 12 aircraft, with an ISD of 2011, according to a ministry of defence plan published in June 2006. Greece is looking to purchase between 30 and 40 fighters (with the process expected to begin in 2006). Romania and Slovenia require 40 aircraft each.
Switzerland (where Gripen is competing against the Joint Strike Fighter, Rafale, and Eurofighter Typhoon to replace the F-5) is expected to start the process to replace its F-5 fleet later this year.
The markets targeted by Saab reflect the focus of Gripen International; it looks towards new NATO members, countries with a requirement to replace F-5 and F-16s, and markets previously dominated by aircraft such as the Mirage.
Gripen exports to Hungary and South Africa and leasing agreements with the Czech Republic have not prevented Saab from being affected by a downturn in the domestic market; the company cut 146 jobs in January 2006 as production of the fighter aircraft for the domestic market began to wind down.