Sep 20, 2012
New generation Gripen could be opportunity for SABack
Engineering|Pretoria|Africa|Defence|Industrial|PROJECT|Saab South Africa|System|Systems|Africa|Brazil|South Africa|Sweden|Switzerland|Generation Systems|Maintenance|Systems|Magnus Lewis-Olsson|South Africa
© Reuse this
Sweden and Switzerland have agreed in principle to jointly develop and purchase the new generation Gripen, with Sweden set to acquire between 40 and 60 of the new type and Switzerland buying 22 (subject to a probable referendum on the deal).
"There are opportunities for South Africa, and other countries, to participate in the development of the new generation Gripen," Lewis-Olsson told Engineering News Online on Thursday at the 2012 Africa Aerospace and Defence exhibition in Pretoria.
"South Africa has fantastic capabilities in the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and in local companies. Of course, South Africa would have to help fund the programme. But it could fund a little bit of it and still be part of the bigger Gripen new generation family."
Lewis-Olsson, stressing he was speaking in a personal capacity, also opined that, with Sweden set to buy so few JAS39Es and Fs, the country was likely to continue to operate a number of its current JAS39C and D models alongside the new generation aircraft. The remaining Cs and Ds would be upgraded and could be fitted with some of the technologies and systems developed for the new generation versions.
This, too, could benefit South Africa, making a major mid-life upgrade of this country's Gripens – all C and D models – using new generation systems more affordable. These could include active electronically scanned array radar and new electronic countermeasures.
All South Africa's 26 Gripens have been handed over to the South African Air Force (SAAF). "South Africa's Gripens probably have the most modern systems of all Gripens in operation today," he reported.
Integration of the A-Darter missile (a joint project between South Africa and Brazil) has been completed, as has integration of the helmet-mounted display system.
"All major development activities have been completed. The complete maintenance capability has been delivered," he said. "Dip [defence industrial participation] and Nip [national industrial participation] obligations have been fulfilled. The reconnaissance pod for the SAAF has been integrated."
According to independent research by the renowned Jane's publications, the flying cost per hour of the Gripen, in 2012 dollars, is $4 700. The figure for the Lockheed Martin F-16 is $7 700, for the Boeing F-18E/F $11 000 and for the Dassault Rafale $16 500. Saab hopes to sell up to 300 Gripens, of both C/D and E/F versions, over the next ten years.
Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Updated 1 hour 8 minutes ago Energy and chemicals group Sasol will delay making a final investment decision on a proposed 96 000 bl/d gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant in the US state of Louisiana, as the group announces plans to cut costs in response to lower international oil prices. Sasol on...
Updated 1 hour 51 minutes ago To prevent the loss of millions of rands in agricultural produce, the Western Cape Department of Agriculture has funded close to R1-million to provide an interim solution to this month’s collapse of a section of one of the canals fed by the Clanwilliam dam. The...
Updated 3 hours ago South Africa has lost R700-billion to corruption over the last 20 years, the Institute of Internal Auditors said on Wednesday. "The cost of corruption in the last 20 years... we have lost R700-billion," CEO Claudelle von Eck said at the launch of the...
Recent Research Reports
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
This Week's Magazine
Three-dimensional (3D) printers being sold in South Africa by electronics distributor Rectron currently print in two types of plastic, but have a clear upgrade path over the next five years to eventually print in wood, ceramics and metal-alloy materials, says Rectron...
The world’s two dominant commercial aircraft manufacturers, Airbus of Europe and Boeing of the US, both recently announced that they had made record aircraft deliveries in 2014. Boeing set a global record for the industry with 723 commercial aircraft delivered, while...
The Western Cape is shifting further into the renewable-energy space with the official opening of a factory specialising in solar inverters, a key component of solar photovoltaic (PV) plants. The investment in the manufacturing facility in Cape Town aims to boost the...
Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) last month welcomed Cabinet’s establishment of a technical team war room to undertake various interventions to improve electricity supply security over the short- and medium-term, but added that the private sector also had a...
Despite a rapid rise in mobile connections and the economic and social benefits of such connectivity, more than half of the world ended 2014 unconnected. For this reason, industry commentators believe the biggest impact of mobile technology is still to come –...