On 25 January Saab submitted a formal proposal to armasuisse, the Swiss defence procurement agency, for the nation’s New Fighter Aircraft requirement, offering the GRIPEN E and a comprehensive industrial participation programme for Swiss industry corresponding to 100% of the contract value.
The proposal, in response to Request for Proposal issues last July, offers 30 and 40 new-build GRIPEN E to replace the current F/A-18 HORNET and F-5E/F TIGER aircraft.
The proposed co-operation with Swiss industry, across all regions of the country, in manufacturing, maintenance and technology, will improve competence and capabilities aimed at the sustainment and further development of the GRIPEN E system in Switzerland. Saab has a historical, strong and broad supplier base in Switzerland, which this programme will further expand to assure cost efficient through-life co-operation.
The GRIPEN E programme is progressing according to plan, with production continuing and customer deliveries starting this year. The very latest technologies are being incorporated to provide air forces with operational capabilities designed to defeat today’s and tomorrow’s threats. Key milestones achieved during the past six months include flights with IRIS-T and METEOR missiles, as well as first flight for the second aircraft.
“The proposed GRIPEN E solution features the latest available technology and low acquisition, operation and support costs that will give Switzerland an optimal fleet size, with the best total operational effect over the coming decades,” commented the head of Saab business area Aeronautics, Jonas Hjelm.
Five nations currently operate GRIPEN: Sweden, South Africa, Czech Republic, Hungary and Thailand. Sweden and Brazil have ordered GRIPEN E. Additionally, the UK Empire Test Pilots’ School uses GRIPEN as a platform for test pilot training.