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|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)
Other Defence News
Denel’s Seeker 400 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system has successfully completed the second round of flight tests as part of its development process. The tests, conducted at the Alkantpan range in the Northern Cape, included an evaluation of the system for range...
A locally designed and built aircraft has entered ground-testing phase at the Wonderboom Airport, in Pretoria, marking a significant milestone for South Africa-based defence solutions business Paramount Group.
In her budget speech to Parliament in Cape Town on Wednesday, Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has reported progress in the institutionalisation of the relationship between the Department of Defence (DoD) and the local defence industry....
Updated 4 hours ago Independent, black-owned and managed investment holding company Southern Palace Properties has acquired an 8% stake in Growthpoint Properties from the Public Investment Corporation’s (PIC’s) Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) for R4.5-billion. Standard Bank...
Updated 4 hours ago Shareholders of JSE-listed real estate investment trusts (REITs) Octodec and Premium Properties have approved the proposed merger of the two companies, creating a combined property fund that will attract a market capitalisation in excess of R5-billion and comprise...
Updated 5 hours ago The Metal and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council (MEIBC) this week called on employees and employers to exercise restraint as the metals and engineering industries resumed operations following a four-week strike, stating that it regretted the strike’s...
Recent Research Reports
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.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Steel 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the steel industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the global and South African steel and stainless steel markets, South Africa’s major steel producers and events that have shaped these markets.
This Week's Magazine
Multinational semiconductor chipmaker corporation Intel announced its national campaign to further acquire partners to drive its She Will Connect programme, an initiative that aims to expand digital literacy skills to young women in developing countries, further into...
South Africa's MeerKAT radio telescope array programme should get back on schedule within a few months. This assurance has been given by SKA South Africa (SKA SA) associate director: science and technology Prof Justin Jonas. Early last month, Science and Technology...
The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s (PRASA’s) Metrorail service will remain a subsidised service following its current multibillion-rand rolling stock, station, depot and signalling upgrade programme. PRASA group CEO Lucky Montana has allayed fears that...
The uncertainties around the remediation of affected areas as addressed in the Contaminated Land Provisions in the National Environmental Management: Waste Act No 59 of 2008 will possibly spark litigation and disputes between landowners and businesses, contractors...
South Africa is currently the largest component of the African Development Bank’s (AfDB’s) active portfolio in Southern Africa, comprising 62.5% of the bank’s $7.9-billion exposure to the 12-country region – the second largest beneficiary is Mauritius, which...