Swedish Defence and security company Saab awards Ruag in Emmen LU a contract worth 68 million francs for the development and production of pylons for Gripen E. 15.5 million francs of this contract are effective immediately.
Ruag has agreed to fulfil a fifth of the contract in collaboration with small and medium size subcontractors from the French and Italian speaking regions of Switzerland.
The pylons are important and significant structural parts of Gripen E and act as mounts for weapons, reconnaissance pods and external fuel tanks. They have been ordered to feature in the 22 Gripen E for Switzerland and 60 Gripen E for Sweden.
"The pylons are high-tech products," says Henry Johansson, responsible for Saab’s industrial cooperation programme. "They need to be – just like Gripen itself – aerodynamically designed and have to withstand extreme loads. They also contain electronic and mechanical parts, such as a release mechanism."
“This is another step to build long term business relations with Swiss industry in the Gripen programme” says Lennart Sindahl Deputy CEO of Saab. “We are in the process to contract even more parts of Gripen E in Switzerland in order to strengthen the collaboration between the countries in the programme.”
The order to Ruag comprises four work packages. Three of them, valued at 15.5 million Swiss Francs are effective immediately. They include the design of pylons, the development of these pylons to serial production as well as manufacturing of prototypes for the three Gripen E test aircraft that will fly before serialisation of Gripen E.
Saab reserves the right to award the actual large-scale production for all Gripen E for Sweden and Switzerland to an other party than Ruag, depending on the result of the Gripen E referendum.
The sale of Gripen E to Switzerland – conditional on the outcome of the referendum in May – is contingent on Saab delivering an industrial cooperation programme with Swiss industry, valued at 2.2 billion francs. By the end of 2013 Saab had already arranged for business in Switzerland, valued at over 300 million francs with 125 companies and has ten years time to fulfil its remaining obligation. armasuisse, the Swiss defence procurement agency has so far analysed and accepted 250 million francs as offset transactions and is investigating the remaining.
The suppliers of Gripen E weapons have an additional offset obligation of 300 million francs, making the total industrial programme for Switzerland worth 2.5 billion francs.
“We are continuously working to increase the number of business partners we can build long term business with”, says Sindahl. “This could include a Swiss software consortium to perform advanced software development in the Gripen E programme.”
Some highlights from 2013 include:
- Saab placed contracts valued at over 20 M CHF in all regions of Switzerland
- 29 M CHF order placed by the Gripen F414 engine manufacturer, General Electric with Sauter Bachmann, located in Netstal (GL) for component production
- An 8 M CHF contract was placed by Selex, the manufacturer of the Gripen E radar, with Orolia in Neuchâtel.
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