Saab Grintek Defence growth strategy in South Africa on track

Saab’s local South African defence and security company Saab Grintek Defence (SGD) expands client base and grows staff complement.

Saab’s local South African defence and security company Saab Grintek Defence (SGD) expands client base and grows staff complement.

Saab Grintek Defence has a solid order book leading up to 2020, firmly positioning the South African security and defence company to further expand its growth.

“We have built a remarkable organisation by partnering with South African companies and investing in skills and enterprise development, to ensure that our high-tech business has local access to the specialised skills and services we need to meet our global customers’ needs,” says Trevor Raman, President and CEO of Saab Grintek Defence.

With approximately 10% of SGD’s revenue allocated to pure research and development, the defence company supplies and supports products and services in air, land, sea and civil defence domains, including electronic warfare, acquisition and communications, lead integration systems, and command, control, training and simulation.

As part of one of the world’s most high-tech and research intensive companies, SGD is majority owned by Swedish defence technology leader Saab, with 25 percent plus one shareholding deal concluded with African Equity Empowerment Investments (AEEI) late in 2015.

Today, SGD has grown to be Saab’s biggest operation outside Sweden, employing 719 people across its three sites in South Africa. Since January 2015 alone, 198 new staff have been employed across various specialised fields.

Sixty percent of the company’s staff are in training at any given time, with 12 bursars and 39 learners participating in external programmes. SGD supports 11 companies, in its incubation and development initiatives, and supports eight projects that focus on community-based socio-economic development.

With 80 percent of its orders coming from other countries, most of SGD’s locally produced products are exported, bringing valuable income into South Africa.

One of its most significant recent deals is a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed is with Tata Power Strategic Engineering Division (Tata Power SED). The MoU highlights SGDs strategy to take South Africa’s indigenous technology and products beyond local markets with well-established expert partners that add value to its supply chain and open new markets.

Already named Exporter of the Year in 2013 and 2014 by the South African Department of Trade and Industry, the company remains focused on investing within the country’s borders to further create jobs and boost export revenues.

“In addition to actively seeking export opportunities, SGD works closely with the South African Government to identify opportunities to supply cost-effective and high performance defence solutions, contributing to South Africa’s defence sovereignty and self-sufficiency,” Raman explains.

“An example is SGD’s TactiCall solution, currently used by the South African Navy and the South African Police Service. TactiCall ensures seamless communication between different emergency management services, regardless of the radio band, frequency or hardware that they are using.”

With a broad range of monitoring, recording and communication management products and services designed, developed and manufactured locally, SGD is well positioned to grow its role as a key contributor to the growth of South Africa’s knowledge and export economies.


For further information, please contact:
Saab Press Centre,
+46 (0)734 180 018

Saab Africa

Anne Lewis-Olsson

 +27 (0)71 6810429,
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Saab provides a broad range of world-leading products services and solutions within military defence and civil security to the Sub-Saharan/South African market. An impressive range of defence forces across the globe are using South African electronic warfare and avionics technology being designed and produced at Saab Grintek Defence facilities in South Africa. Saab also has business units and local employees in Cape Town, South Africa, in Gaborone, Botswana and in Nairobi, Kenya. Saab is a global company with operations and employees in about 40 countries around the world. Through innovative, collaborative and pragmatic thinking, Saab constantly develops, adopts and improves new technology to meet customers’ changing needs.