About Me

My photo
MILITARY TECHNOLOGY (MILTECH) is the world's leading international tri-service defence monthly magazine in the English language. MILITARY TECHNOLOGY is "Required Reading for Defence Professionals". Follow us on Twitter: MILTECH1

17 May 2016

Saab CEO Outlines Future

On 18 May, Saab is taking the next step in the evolution of the GRIPEN fighter system, unveiling the first Gripen E test aircraft, taking place at Saab’s facilities in Linköping. A day before, at a media briefing, Hakan Buskhe, President and CEO Saab, said: "It is a dream for a CEO to have a rollout of an aircraft just three years after the signature."

Saab's President and CEO, Hakan, Buskhe, gives a global defense market overview. 

On the GRIPEN E roadmap the CEO told the media panel that Saab is competing in Belgium and Finnland, as well as having ongoing discussions with India. “We believe Switzerland will come back,” he said.

On GRIPEN C, Buschke said: "We can do supercruise and lot of other capabilities that cannot be built into the C/D platfrom, but we will continue to market the C/D," being able to, “deliver GRIPEN C in 18 months.”

On sea GRIPEN, he said that Saab is in basic design and in discussions with the Brazilian Navy. Overall, "this is the best aircraft you can fly today," he boasted.

On the A26 submarine programme, Buschke explained that Saab is delivering the sub on schedule. With future procurement programmes in sight, he sees good chances in Poland and the Netherlands. "There is a need of 50 subs around the world," the CEO said. "If we can have a fair portion of that, the development of our sub business will be good...One, two or three countries will be enough for us to go forward."

While development of Saab's legacy GOTLAND-class is proven, "being an extremely good sub," according to Buskhe new features on the A26 are being worked on, including new sensors and underwater autonomous systems. "We are world leaders on small remote underwater vehicles," he said. "Automation and digitilsation will come in all products going forward," not only hinting at underwater systems, but also the Unmanned GRIPEN, and NeuRON.

On partnerships, cooperations, and transfer of technology the CEO said: "We will partner with friendly countires." According to him, "if you are not willing to partner and not willing to share technology, you will stand alone and not sell anything. You need to spend money to make money."

"We are putting tons of money in new sensors and radars, launching new radars and AEW&C system, as well as the new CARL GUSTAV and AT4," Buskhe said. "Lead times are extremely important, from a customer and technology perspective. Lead times need to be short."

When prompted on the competition, he told the media panel: "We have a better product portfolio than our competition. We are willing to share technology to our friends, and we are are reliable."

In another panel, Peter Hultqvist, Swedish Minister of Defence, confirmed that Sweden is, ”investing in a new generation of submarines and aircraft. We will also increase our military investments overall,” exercising, “more than ever before.” Cooperation with other countries is very important according to the minister. “We want to export GRIPEN and submarines. We have to be active from the political level,” he concluded.

On Russian incursions of Swedish defences, Sweden is doing more QRA now than 2-3 years ago, says Peter Hultqvist, Swedish Minister of Defence.