Saab receives Gripen order for Thailand

Swedish defence firm Saab has received an order from the Swedish Defence Material Administration (FMV) for six Gripen aircraft intended for Thailand's air force.

Saab receives Gripen order for Thailand

The order is worth approximately 2.2 billion kronor ($320 million), according to a company statement.

“The order strengthens the co-operation between Thailand and Sweden. It also serves as further proof of Saab’s ability to deliver sophisticated integrated defence systems,” said Saab CEO, Håkan Buskhe.

The six Gripen aircraft are of the single-seat C version and the order will be completed between 2010 -2013.

The aircraft form part of an intergovernmental transaction, fronted by FMV, to sell an integrated air-defence system based on Saab products. Aside from providing the aircraft, Saab will upgrade the Saab Erieye radar system equipped Saab 340 that FMV is selling to Thailand.

The order is a follow-up to an previous order for six Gripen aircraft intended for Thailand, signed in 2008.

Elsewhere it is reported that Boeing is offering to partner with Brazil’s Embraer on a new fighter jet, in an effort to beat off competition from Saab and French firm Dassault for a multi-billion-dollar Brazilian defence contract.

Joseph McAndrew, Boeing’s vice president for Europe, Israel and America, told business publication Valor that the firm proposed 10 partnership projects with Brazil’s aviation leader, including building a new plant in the country to build parts for Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet.

The jet is locked in a heated competition with the Dassault’s Rafale fighter and Saab’s Gripen NG to supply the Brazilian air force with 36 state-of-the-art fighter aircraft for a value of between four billion an seven billion dollars.

Earlier this month, after a series of postponements, outgoing Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said he would decide the closely-watched tender soon with his successor Dilma Rousseff.

Lula has described the Rafale as the favorite in the tender, with Dassault committed to the substantial transfer of technology to Brazil if it wins the contract.

However, local media leaks have indicated that the Gripen NG is the fighter jet favored by Brazil’s air force.

South America’s economic powerhouse has sought to modernize its military infrastructure, and has pursued several billion-dollar contracts complete with

technology transfer that would allow Brazil to produce and market its own products in Latin America.

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Former Swedish Saab bosses appear in court

Swedish car maker Saab's former CEO Jan Åke Jonsson and the firm's former head lawyer Kristina Geers have appeared in court in Vänersborg in west Sweden, accused of falsifying financial documents shortly before the company went bankrupt in 2011.

Former Swedish Saab bosses appear in court
Saab's former CEO Jan Åke Jonsson. Photo: Karin Olander/TT
The pair are accused of falsifying the paperwork at the height of the Swedish company's financial difficulties at the start of the decade.
A third person – who has not been named in the Swedish media – is accused of assisting them by issuing false invoices adding up to a total of 30 million kronor ($3.55m).
According to court documents, the charges relate to the firm's business in Ukraine and the paperwork in question was signed just before former CEO Jan Åke Jonsson resigned.
Both Jonsson and Saab's former head lawyer Kristina Geers have admitted signing the papers but denied knowledge of the Ukranian firm implicated in the case.
All three suspects deny all the charges against them.

Saab's former head lawyer Kristina Geers. Photo:  Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT
Saab filed for bankruptcy at the end of 2011, after teetering on the edge of collapse for nearly two years.
Chief prosecutor Olof Sahlgren told the court in Vänersborg on Wednesday that the alleged crimes took place in March 2011, when Saab was briefly owned by the Dutch company Spyker Cars.
It was eventually bought by National Electric Vehicle Sweden (Nevs), a Chinese-owned company after hundreds of staff lost their jobs.
The car maker, which is based in west Sweden, has struggled to resolve serious financial difficulties by attracting new investors since the takeover.
In October 2014 it announced it had axed 155 workers, close to a third of its workforce.
Since 2000, Saab automobile has had no connection with the defence and aeronautics firm with the same name. It only produces one model today, the electric 9-3 Aero Sedan, mainly targeting the Chinese market.