Defence and security company Saab has taken the strategic decision to find Swiss companies to develop, produce and assemble major components of the Gripen E aircraft, including the rear fuselage. More than 35 per cent of the work will be placed in the French- and Italian-speaking regions. This will create business volume for Swiss industry of approximately 200 MCHF and more than 500,000 man hours of work.
The decision to grow the Gripen E supplier base in Switzerland is an important step for Saab’s Swiss Industrial Participation (SIP) programme. It demonstrates the company’s willingness and commitment to deliver major direct SIP packages for Gripen E and results from a continuous dialogue with armasuisse, Swissmem, GRPM (Groupe Romande Pour le Matérial de Défense et de Sécurité) and the Swiss Gripen Group (SGG for Direct Industrial Participation DIP).
The main areas of focus for the Swiss industry work will commence with the development, production and assembly of five major items;
Gripen E rear fuselage
Gripen E pylons (weapon stations),
Gripen E tail cone,
Gripen E air brakes, and the
Gripen E external fuel “drop” tanks
These initial packages represent over 500,000 man hours of work and business volume of 200 MCHF for Swiss industry, and is related to the 60 Gripen Es ordered by Sweden and 22 Gripen E fighters that may be ordered by Switzerland. Saab is looking for long-term partners to the Gripen program and will place more than 35 per cent of this business package in the French- and Italian-speaking regions.
“We are currently in discussions with Swiss companies, including Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, throughout all regions of Switzerland that can be involved in this major project”, says Lennart Sindahl, Head of Business Area Aeronautics at Saab, and adds “We are looking for companies with advanced skills and strong competitiveness that can be our partners for the long-term and to quickly seal their involvement in the program.”
Future potential of the Swiss involvement
As a Gripen E supplier and partner, Swiss industry participation is not limited to the Swedish and potential Swiss aircraft, but includes future orders of Gripen E.
The Swiss partner companies will have full access to the technology involved in the work package. The transfer of knowledge will provide the companies with the skills and competence to compete for major orders from other aircraft manufacturers in the civil and defence sectors.
Saab’s Swiss Industrial Participation Programme
In line with armasuisse offset policy, Saab is committed to delivering a regional distribution of SIP, with 5 per cent in Italian-speaking, 30 per cent in French-speaking and 65 per cent in German-speaking Switzerland. Saab has a commitment to deliver SIP business valued at 100 per cent of the Gripen contract value. By the end of 2012, Saab and partners had delivered approximately 250 MCHF in business with more than 100 Swiss companies