When it comes to upgradation of a fighter aircraft, the cost and complexity involved can be intimidating for any nation. Saab however thinks that ‘the Gripen way’ is to make upgrades relatively easy to manage, quick to implement, and affordable as well. Any Gripen operating country need not worry about being forced into costly upgrades by external parties. In addition to that, Saab assures that Gripen can also offer optimal operational effectiveness during its entire lifecycle.
“Gripen E is developed to counter and defeat the most advanced threats in this modern battlespace. Its unique architecture makes it the intelligent fighter system that continuously evolves, rapidly embracing new technology and tactics in a way that will always keep its operator one step ahead,” says Mats Palmberg, Vice President, Industrial Partnerships, Saab, and Head of Gripen India Campaign. Gripen’s open-architecture design allows quick new software and hardware upgrades giving the fighter an edge in terms of its longevity. This aspect of the Gripen is what makes Saab’s offer to India compelling.
Another reason why Gripen has stood out as a contender in the ongoing fighter competition in India is the ToT offer which has been made along the lines of the ‘Make in India’ programme. Through the Gripen India programme, Saab will essentially transfer the know-how and the know-whys to its Indian partners, rather than just setting up production lines in the country. According to Mats, this will have long-lasting benefits not only to India’s defence industry but also to multiplying effects to the wider community.
“We will manufacture 85% of the fighters locally in India covering all aircraft manufacturing phases, provide maintenance capabilities to ensure self-reliant and uncompromised operations by the IAF. In addition, we are also prepared to provide capabilities to further develop and upgrade the product in the country,” says Mats.
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