While Gripen’s unique capabilities as a multi-role fighter were a decisive factor in South Africa’s selection of the aircraft, so too was Saab’s creative and entrepreneurial approach to delivering sustainable economic benefits by stimulating the country’s aerospace, defence and, most importantly, a wide array of civil industries.
Tailored for growth
Saab’s industrial participation was tailored to boost South African trade and investments in its manufacturing base. Saab’s involvement in various business projects was based on normal commercial requirements. This resulted in increased investments in the local civil, aeronautics and defence industries. In turn, these stimulated additional export and domestic sales of South African manufactured and processed goods.
South African-developed technology onboard Gripen
South African input into the evolution of the Gripen as an ever more sophisticated platform has been considerable. Nearly every aspect of aircraft functionality has been tailored to meet a long list of South African Air Force (SAAF) requirements. This includes the radar, weapons, electronic warfare gear, navigation fit, communications systems, datalink, mission planning computers, even the ejection seats. South Africa has had access and input to the Gripen at every level.