On 8 September 2012, the Swiss Air Force Officers Society AVIA invited its members to an information meeting on the evaluation and acquisition of the new fighter of the Swiss Armed Forces (TTE). AVIA had invited Swiss and Swedish officials as well as industrial representatives including Saab to be present on the discussion panel.
Decisions on large strategic defence material acquisitions are often subject to debate. Since the announcement of the Swiss type-selection of Gripen on 30 November, the Swiss acquisition process has been subject to great interest and debate among several stakeholders. According to the organizers the main objective of the information event on 8 September was to let the Swiss Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport, DDPS, the Swedish delegation with the Ambasador, the Defence Attaché, the Swedish Defence and Security Export Agency, FXM, and Saab as the manufacturer of Gripen to rectify and respond to common misconceptions about the evaluation, the type-selection and the fighter aircraft itself.
"This meeting was an excellent opportunity for us to meet and discuss with the AVIA group and other invited stakeholders. Some important clarifications regarding the process and the Gripen fighter were made and we welcome open discussions in forums like this", says Richard Smith, Campaign Director for Gripen in Switzerland, and continues "We are convinced that Switzerland has made an excellent choice of fighter for the future, an advanced fighter that meets the high requirements of a modern air force. It is the most cost-efficient option for Switzerland – on acquisition and across its whole lifecycle and this is key to ensuring that Switzerland is able to maintain a well-balanced Armed Forces."
On the discussion panel
National Councillor Corina Eichenberger, Subcommittee SIK (Security Committee National Council)
Dr. Christian Catrina, Chief Security Policy DDPS
Lieutenant General Markus Gygax, Chief of Swiss Air Force
Peter Minder, Head of Communication DDPS
Jean-Luc Michoud, Representative SME and GRPM (Group of Defence and Security Equipment Manufacturers and Subcontractors)
Dr. Peter Braun, Historian
Per Thöresson, Swedish Ambassador in Switzerland
Col Klas Petterson (tbc), Defence Attaché in Switzerland/Swedish Air Force Pilot (ret.)
Joakim Wallin, Market Director, Swedish Defence and Security Export Agency
Magnus Gustafsson, Regional Director Europe, Swedish Defence and Security Export Agency
Eddy de la Motte, Saab Vice President, Head of Gripen Export
Richard Smith, Saab Campaign Director Gripen, Switzerland.
Henry Johansson, Saab In-Country Director Gripen, Switzerland.
Magnus Karlsson, Saab Marketing Director Gripen, Switzerland.
Björn Danielsson, Saab Operational Analyst, Swedish Air Force Pilot (ret.)
Håkan Lindell, Saab Deputy Product Director Gripen