Saab meeting industry in Martigny

On 28 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, 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.

Vincent Riesen, director of the hosting Chambre Valaisanne de Commerce et de l’industrie:

“The Valais is the cradle of the mechanical industry; In addition we have state-of-the-art know-how in the electronic and optical industry. We don’t have too many huge companies, but we are very important suppliers to such companies. With regard to the Gripen programme, we can be very competitive and competent partners.”

Jean-Luc Michoud, Vice President of GRPM (Groupe Romand pour le Matériel de Défense et de Sécurité) and Director of LPS Services SA: 

“I strongly believe in the competence of the industry in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. While we only account for 25 per cent of the population, we account for 30 per cent of the economic power. We have a lot of service orientated companies, but we also have state-of-the-art 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 Systems Assembling of Boudry. Philip Kristensen of GRPM informed about their experience with procurement programmes and the potential of the Gripen programme for this company. Systems Assembling is a leading electro-technology outsource manufacturer that has been providing construction and assembly of machines, control panels and customised cable assemblies for more than 15 years.

“Systems Assembling has a long-reaching experience with procurement from various international companies. The first contact with Saab was initiated some five years ago, today the contracts with Saab generate ork for three persons. It took some time to get started, but they expect it to be a fruitful, long-lasting relationship that could lead to generating ten to twelve work places – which is about 10 per cent of Systems Assembling’s total work force.” said Philip Kristensen.

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 St. Gallen (29 May), Lugano (4 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,

Saab Press Office
+46 734 180 018

Saab serves the global market with world-leading products, services and solutions ranging from military defence to civil security. Saab has operations and employees on all continents and constantly develops, adopts and improves new technology to meet customers’ changing needs.