Håkan Buskhe: Our Long Term Growth In Korea Is Based On Our Partnerships With Korean Companies

"As a result of having one of the world’s foremost fighter aircraft technologies, tried and tested electronic warfare systems, ground and air based missile defence systems, mature data-linking systems and a repertoire of technologies across domains, Saab has the systems portfolio that is of interest to Korean programmes," says Håkan Buskhe, President and Chief Executive Officer of Saab AB

1. Where do you see long term room for growth in the Korean defence market?

We see the growth in the short run principally coming from meeting the immediate needs of Korean security across all three domains. There are significant acquisition programs underway propelled by the necessity to secure borders over land, air and seas in one of the world’s most sensitive areas. The long term growth, however, will be based on partnerships with Korean companies to develop Korean solutions for the needs of the country as well as for the global market.

Over the past decade, we have established our credentials in the Korean market across a number of programs which, in turn, has led to follow on orders and deeper engagement. This is in line with our approach to co-develop defence technology with domestic industry which has been successfully implemented through our industrial cooperation programs. Further, Korea appreciates our willingness to share cutting edge technology. This makes us ideal partners for programs such as the KFX  program, the fighter aircraft radar programmes as well as in missile development programs.

2. In what ways has the shift to more value-oriented defence procurement impacted the requirements of national defence forces in the region?

The move to deriving greater value and expecting greater value will ensure that the national defence forces give greater emphasis on acquiring solutions that are customized to their requirements rather than simply taking products off the shelf. Further, this will drive the process of indigenization and localization as industrial cooperation programs are given greater national support. 

3. How can Saab collaborate with Korean industry?

The Korean Defence industry is among the strongest in the world. In addition, it has large, successful capital equipment and electronic industries. From being among the leaders in telecom to one of the largest mega scale ship builders, Korean companies straddle the entire domain of manufacturing and technology as giant leaders.

Equally Saab has a repository of cutting edge technology developed over years of building defence systems to deal with compelling political realities. Sweden is happy to share technology and Saab has implemented very successfully a number of industrial cooperation programs around the world.

When you stack all these elements together, the opportunity for Saab to contribute to the Korean defence industry is evident. As a result of having one of the world’s foremost fighter aircraft technologies, tried and tested electronic warfare systems, ground and air based missile defence systems, mature data-linking systems and a repertoire of technologies across domains, Saab has the systems portfolio that is of interest to Korean programmes