Ever since Saab put together its first Gripen offer to India, it has maintained that the partnership will be on the lines of the “Make in India” concept. Defining its proposal a little more, the Swedish defence and security company has now announced that it will manufacture 96 Gripen E/F fighters in India.
In April last year, India had issued an RFI according to which 85% of the 110 fighters required have to be built in the country under the “Make in India” program.
“Except the first 18 aircraft, we intend to manufacture everything in India. Saab will look to build an ecosystem of defense manufacturing inside the country,” said Ola Rignell, Chairman and Managing Director of Saab India.
Saab is no stranger to technology transfer. The Brazilian Gripen programme includes an extensive transfer of technology and until 2025, more than 350 Brazilian engineers and technicians from partner will participate in theoretical and on-the-job training at Saab in Linköping, Sweden. Until today, more than 200 engineers have been trained in Sweden and are already back in Brazil, most of them working at the Gripen Design and Development Network (GDDN) at Embraer’s plant in Gavião Peixoto.
Saab’s Make in India program also includes setting up of a full manufacturing facility and an Aerospace eco-system in India, creation of a local supplier base of ancillary systems, and employment of a well-trained Indian workforce.