Denel to make major fuselage assemblies for Swedish Air Force Gripen fighters


Denel Aviation, South Africa's state-owned aerospace business, has been
awarded a US$3,6-million (approximately ZAR28-million) workshare package
to manufacture a section of the Gripen centre fuselage for the Swedish
Air Force's next batch of Gripen advanced fighters.

Denel Aviation commence work on the package this May and will also
produce additional fuselage sections for the 28 Gripen swing-role
fighters ordered for the South African Air Force.

The work package gives Denel Aviation the option to produce 100 fuselage
units of which the initial Saab order (for the Swedish Air Force) is for
40 units. These will be built at Denel Aviation's facilities at Kempton
Park, near Johannesburg. The sections will also be incorporated into all
future export order Gripen aircraft.

To date, just 11 months since South Africa's Gripen and Hawk contract
became effective, Saab and BAE SYSTEMS have placed DIP contracts with
South African companies worth more than US$800-million (or 55 per cent
of the total DIP obligation) over the period to April 2007.

"This clearly demonstrates our ability to meet our industrial
participation commitments and proves that the unprecedented industrial
participation package negotiated by South Africa will deliver the
economic benefits promised", explained Saab CEO and President, Bengt

The fuselage section is technically known as the Main Landing Gear Unit
(MLGU) because it is the main lower central fuselage section housing the
main undercarriage and complex fuel, electrical and hydraulics systems.
The MLGU represents one of the largest portions of the fuselage,
requiring advanced precision engineering and manufacturing processes.

The MLGU work package is the latest element of the US$1.5-billion
Defence-related Industrial Participation (DIP) obligation linked to
South Africa's purchase of 28 Gripen swing-role fighters and 24 Hawk
lead-in fighter trainers.

"We have met and continue to exceed the product development,
manufacturing and industrial participation milestones for the South
African Gripen and Hawk programmes. We will deliver the aircraft on time
and according to specification. We will also deliver all of the economic
benefits promised through our Defence and non-Defence Industrial
Participation initiatives", Halse added.

The MLGU work package forms part of the ZAR3.5-billion umbrella
agreement signed in March 2000 with Denel Aviation which covers other
manufacturing work on Gripen, Hawk, the Avro RJ/RJX jetliner and Airbus.

Much of the Gripen work placed with Denel Aviation has been made
possible through the skills and high-technology transfer programmes
initiated by Saab and BAE SYSTEMS. The first group of South African
engineers, technicians, systems specialists, pilots and logistical
support officers from Denel and the SA Air Force has already been
transferred to Sweden. They are based at Saab in Linköping where they
are training on and becoming familiar with the industrial processes,
technology and systems used in the production and operational support of

In addition, a fully equipped state-of-the-art computer aided
design/computer aided manufacturing design centre has been established
at Denel Aviation by Saab. Denel Aviation utilises these facilities in
component design work for Gripen and Hawk, but may also generate
additional revenue by using the system for work on other aircraft and

Notes on Gripen:
Gripen is the world's only fourth-generation multi-role/swing-role
fighter in active service. It is produced and marketed internationally
by a joint-venture company owned equally by Sweden's Saab and the UK's

Designed to meet all known and perceived 21st century defence threats,
Gripen is the only fighter in service today with designed-in easy
maintenance and low operating costs. Gripen is unique as an operational
fighter that combines high performance and outstanding manoeuvrability
with a fully integrated digital information system, precision engagement
weapons and advanced reconnaissance capabilities for the future air war.

For further information please contact:
Jan Ahlgren, Vice President Communications and Public Affairs, Saab AB
Tel: +46 (0) 13-18 39 07, Mobile: +46 (0) 705-18 39 07

John Neilson, Head of Communications, SAAB-BAE SYSTEMS Gripen
Tel: +44 (0) 1252 38 4795, Mobile: +44 (0) 802 33 7704

Linden Birns, Plane Talking, PR for Saab-BAE SYSTEMS, South Africa
Tel: +27 21 789 29 77, Mobile: +27 82 568 80 31
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