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)
Other Defence News
As is well known, at the end of last month, retired General Muhammadu Buhari defeated incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan in Nigeria’s Presidential elections. A northerner and a Muslim, Buhari won a majority of the votes in predominantly Christian States in the...
Early this month South African defence group Paramount announced that it had bought the manufacturing facilities and certain other assets of DCD Protected Mobility (part of South Africa’s DCD industrial and engineering group), as well as taking transfer of selected...
Despite its recent sale of its manufacturing plant at Isando, in Kempton Park, east of Johannesburg, DCD Protected Mobility is still very much in existence and in business. The company is part of the DCD industrial and engineering group and manufactures mine...
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2015: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2015 report provides an overview of the key developments in the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon...
Projects in Progress 2015 - First Edition (PDF Report)
In fact, this edition of Creamer Media’s Projects in Progress 2015 supplement tracks developments taking place under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which has had four bidding rounds. It appears to remain a shining light on the...
Electricity 2015: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2015 report provides an overview of State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, as well as electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
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.
This Week's Magazine
Forest products group Sappi has confirmed the selection of its 25 MW biomass-to-power project, to be erected at its Ngodwana mill, in Mpumalanga, as a preferred bidder under the South African government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement...
Information and communications technology (ICT) distributor DCC is making Windows- and Android-operating systems tablets available through retailers and education equipment suppliers to provide school children with affordable, high-performance education tools. The...
Another cement manufacturer is set to enter the Ugandan market, raising hopes that prices will come down and spur growth in the construction industry. National Cement, a Kenyan manufacturer, has unveiled plans to invest $195-million in a new manufacturing plant in...
With growth rates exceeding that in the developed world – at an average of between 4% and 5% between 2002 and 2014 – African countries provide investors with ample reason to tap into booming consumer demand says Manufacturing Circle executive director Coenraad...
The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (Sacci’s) Business Confidence Index (BCI) decreased by 3.7 index points month-on-month to 89.1 in March.