Saab meeting industry in St. Gallen

On 29 May defence and security company Saab met industrial companies in Martigny in order to present and discuss business opportunities in the Gripen E programme.

Saab recently visited Zurich, Geneva, Payerne, Martigny, Hitzkirch and Lucerne to inform regional manufacturers about the opportunities for Swiss Industrial Participation (SIP) and to find new business partners linked to the potential Swiss acquisition of 22 Gripen E fighters. A total of ten cities will be visited.

Peter Kuratli, director of the St. Gallen Office for Economy and Labour:

“The decision to procure Gripen has not yet been taken by the Swiss Government. However, for any industrial cooperation to be long-term, work has to start early. I therefore welcome the industry in the regions of St. Gallen, Thurgau and the Appenzell region to evaluate the subject and take the decisions that they feel appropriate.”

Beat F. Brunner, member of the board of the industry association Swissmem:

„To generate business for the Swiss industrial and technological base must happen in an effective way and as a long-term strategy. This is even more important when it comes to doing business with the defence and security industry.“

Linked to the Swiss fighter acquisition Saab will be obliged to provide Swiss industry with business equal to the value of the Gripen contract. The Gripen programme presents business opportunities for both defence and non-defence industry. In parallel to the on-going industrial tour, Saab specialists are visiting targeted companies directly in order to deepen cooperation or develop new business relationships.

 “We look for long-term, commercially viable business partnerships with a sustainable impact. It is one of the criteria specified by armasuisse. The work has to be carried out systematically and with great detail, which also takes time,” said Henry Johansson, Vice President Gripen Switzerland. „Upon signature of the Gripen contract, Saab has ten years to deliver its offset obligation.“

One of the Swiss companies that are already doing SIP business initiated by Saab is WZW from Balgach in the Rhine Valley. For more than 45 years, WZW has designed and manufactured high-end, quality optics solutions for a global customer base. By exploring new technologies and materials, they consolidate and extend their market position in order to make increasingly larger contributions to customers’ success.

“Should Switzerland procure Gripen, I would see this as a starting point for a new dynamic in the Swiss Industry – for all of them. As for us in particular: We could then intensify and develop our current partnership”,  said Willi Weder, chairman of WZW Optic.

By the end of 2012, Saab had realized SIP business worth 250 million francs and is committed to deliver SIP of at least 300 million before the Gripen contract is signed. The company also recently announced that it will extend its Swiss Gripen supplier base to develop and produce major components of the Gripen E aircraft – rear fuselage, pylons (weapon stations), tail cone, air brakes and external fuel drop tanks. The contract value of this work amounts to 200 million CHF and 500,000 man-hours of work.    

For your information: Saab will attend additional industrial events in Lugano (3rd June), Bern (17 June) and Basle (18 June).

 Read more about the Saab´s Industrial Programme for Switzerland.

For further information:

Saab Switzerland, Communication & Marketing
+41 79 777 40 30, Mike Helmy, mike.helmy@saabgroup.com

Saab Press Office
+46 734 180 018
presscentre@saabgroup.com

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