South africa selects saab and british aerospace

SOUTH AFRICA SELECTS SAAB AND BRITISH AEROSPACE

Gripen and Hawk win preferred bid negotiations

The Government of South Africa today announced the selection of Saab and
British Aerospace as the preferred bidders to supply multi-role defence and
training aircraft to the South African Air Force ( SAAF).

This first export success for the Saab - British Aerospace joint venture -
which was announced at the Paris Air Show in 1995 - is also a major milestone
for Gripen, the world's first fourth generation, highly agile, multi-role
aircraft in operational service. It is now in service in the Swedish Air Force
and currently under consideration by a number of air forces in Eastern Europe,
South America and Asia Pacific.

British Aerospace has offered Hawk, the world's most successful jet trainer,
as
the ideal combination with Gripen for the capability, versatility and
reliability demanded by the South African Air Force.

Hawk, recently selected by Australia and Canada, will give the South African
Air Force an advanced jet trainer to match the outstanding performance of the
Gripen. Hawk is the most cost-effective fast jet trainer available and over
750 aircraft have been ordered or selected by 17 customers worldwide.

British Aerospace Chief Executive John Weston said in a statement today :
"This
important development in the bid to supply a recognized front-line air force
with the best equipment package available reconfirms our belief in the
benefits
of partnerships and is a valuable endorsement by a very sophisticated
international customer.

"With the South African Government we will now develop our earlier discussions
on industrial participation which will bring added advantages to our companies
as suppliers of solutions to the most demanding customers, and to South Africa
as an emerging high technology industrial partner.

"British Aerospace and Saab are both confident that detailed contract
negotiations will also begin in the very near future."

"This very welcome confirmation by the South African Government comes after
one
of the most sophisticated, detailed and exhaustive tendering processes we have
experienced. We look forward to a long and successful partnership with South
Africa."

Saab Chief Executive, Bengt Halse, said: "This is a significant package which
supports the South African government's ambition to boost trade and
investment,
revitalize South Africa's economy and create thousands of jobs."

"It is my understanding that this is the most comprehensive single trade and
investment package ever proposed to South Africa coupled with the provision of
an appropriate and cost-effective defence solution."

Press kit and photos are also available on www.gripen.saab.se. For further
information, please contact:
Jan Ahlgren, Vice President Communications and Public Affairs (Saab) +46-13-18
39 07 +46-70 518 39 07 (mobile) email:jan.w.ahlgren@saab.se Locksley Ryan,
Director Corporate Communications (British Aerospace) +44-1252 373 836 Linden
Birns, (PR Consultant, Plane talking +27-21 789 29 77 (office) 082 568 8031
(mobile)

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