Saab receives Gripen order for Thailand

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.

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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