Lars-Olof: We See India As An Important Future Market

Interview with Lars-Olof Lindgren, Chairperson, Saab India Technologies Pvt Ltd on Saab's portfolio and suitability for the Indian market.

What makes you optimistic about India?

We see India in the long-term perspective, and we are convinced that we have very good products and systems for the Indian defence. Finding partners in India is also our strategy for the future. There are very good conditions for cooperation between the two countries. We see India as an important future market. That’s the reason we feel we cannot just come in, take an order and leave, we are here with a longer perspective – so we don’t see slight downturn as a reason to scale down our operations here. We feel that we are well placed to do business here.

What is Saab’s ‘Thinking Edge’ approach?

In a rapidly changing world where new threats continue to emerge, we firmly believe in the right of countries, institutions and individuals to protect their freedom and safety. By thinking innovatively, we are pushing intellectual and technological boundaries - keeping us ahead of today’s complex defence and security challenges. Our thinking also embodies drive, expertise and trust – the values that help us work collaboratively and pragmatically. But it is the products and solutions that emerge from our thinking that give us a distinct advantage over our competitors - our thinking edge.

You claim to have an unbeaten capability in the field of Electronic Warfare (EW) and self-protection. Can you tell us about it?

Our EW products span the width of air, sea, land and civil security. For airborne platforms, Saab provides an entire range of EW systems and includes radar warning receivers, missile approach warners, laser warning systems and ELINT/SIGINT systems, fully integrated with self protection jammers and countermeasure dispenser systems. The EW suite on airborne platform are well integrated with other onboard sensors to provide a completely fused picture to the operator for obtaining and maintaining enhanced situational awareness at all times.

On the naval front, our EW solutions include a range of laser warning systems and ESM and ELINT systems for submarine and surface vessels, providing enhanced detection capabilities, full threat identification and strategic intelligence capabilities in a single cost effective solution.

Based on proven EW technology, our integrated solutions provide unrivalled protection for airborne platforms, surface vessels and submarines alike and give the vital components needed to be prepared, and to maintain the necessary reaction and control capabilities in each and every situation.

All our EW systems are designed to provide exceptional situational awareness with the ability to detect, localise and identify RF based threats. This means the information and decision superiority needed to be on top in the electronic battlefield will be there. If detected, protection from countermeasure systems will mitigate the risks in the hostile engagement in order to complete the mission and leave the engagement zone for a safe return home.

In the land domain also, Saab provides armed forces around the world with first class protection, from a full range of Signature Management Systems to fully-integrated EW solutions and complete security solutions for safeguarding of operational infrastructure.

The importance of simulation in today’s warfare is well-known. What are the simulation solutions you are providing in India?

We offer an extensive portfolio of training capabilities and simulation products from across the full live, virtual, constructive simulation domains including targetry equipment and range control applications.

In India, I foresee that simulation market will grow substantially in the coming years. Specific to what we are offering, we recently showcased our Small Arms Virtual Indoor Trainer (SAVIT) here with a great deal of success. We are also pursuing several opportunities with driving simulators and tactical engagement simulation systems. We have a lot to offer to this market.

You have recently signed an agreement with Indianeye Security to market Agile Tactical Engagement Simulation (ATES) systems for Indian forces? How do you expect to benefit from this partnership?

Saab has signed a distribution agreement with Indianeye Security Pvt Ltd for marketing and distribution of ATES equipment to Indian armed forces, paramilitary, special forces and the police. Our ATES equipment system will enable Indian armed forces to practice the tactics, techniques and procedures of warfare in an instrumented ‘Force on Force’ training environment. The accompanying Gamer Manpack can record all player positions, firing and event data for use during or after action review. Army officers conducting training can use ATES to create a complete real-time situational awareness of the event as it unfolds. This further strengthens our current relationship as Indianeye Security uses a Saab platform to impart state-of-art training to Indian police forces and industry. Their knowledge and use of our systems will enable them to be effective advocates and distribution partners for ATES.

What can we expect from Saab in future?

That we are dependable and we are here to stay. We are not here to take one or two big deals and leave. Saab has made a long-term commitment to the Indian market.

Courtesy: GeoIntelligence