Saab In Thailand

Thailand has been among the top 10 markets for Saab over an extended period of time. The company opened its offices in Bangkok in 1998 and has extensive engagement with both defence and civilian sectors of Thailand. With the intent of cementing its long term presence in the country, Saab also entered into a joint venture with AVIA Satcom.

All the Business Areas of Saab are active in Thailand, including Aeronautics, Dynamics, Security & Defence Systems  Electronic Defense Systems and Support & Services. The company enjoys good relations with all arms of the defence forces and works closely with the Swedish Government in upholding and developing its relations with the Government of Thailand.

While Thai-Swedish relations go back to the 1970s, they were further strengthened with the Bilateral Cooperation Program set in motion by the Prime Ministers of Sweden and Thailand during their meeting in January 2004. Since then the Swedish Government through the Swedish Defense Material Administration (FMV) and Saab has worked closely with the Government of Thailand on a number of programs.

The Gripen Air Defence Package includes:

  • Two Ericsson ERIEYE Airborne Early Warning Systems (AEW) mounted on Saab 340 regional aircraft.
  • Command and Control System including Data Link.
  • A Saab 340 aircraft for air / ground crew training and transport purposes.
  • Air-to-Surface missiles.
  • 100 man-years of advanced aerospace technology transfer.
  • Access to source code to the core software of the Gripen so that Royal Thai Air Force could develop, upgrade, modify or add equipment, sensors and weapon system in the future by themselves.
  • Transfer of technology
  • Training of air and ground crew
  • Simulators
  • Mission support equipment
  • Ground support equipment
  • Master of Science Scholarship Program for 200 Thai students in Sweden.
  • Long-lasting Bilateral Cooperation Program, the “Joint Plan of Action”. 

As part of the Swedish proposal, Saab is transferring 100 man-years of advanced aerospace technologies to Thailand. The aim of this transfer of technology is, through long-term partnerships, designed to sustain and positively enhance the aerospace and defense industry in Thailand. The transfer will also provide partnership for local Thai industry in future development programs including the Gripen program.

The first batch of Gripen fighters for the Royal Thai Air Force was delivered in February 2011. They are based at Wing 7 in Surat Thani in the southern part of the country. 

Saab’s engagement with Thailand is with all branches of the government. The defence and security company Saab upgraded the combat management and fire control systems on two frigates of the Naresuan class of the Royal Thai Navy.  The frigates H.T.M.S. Naresuan and H.T.M.S Taksin were equipped with the latest generation of combat management and fire control systems, 9LV Mk4 and CEROS 200 and there was a subsequent order for additional sights and communications equipment to complete the combat suite on the two frigates. 

Saab also supplied data-link equipment to the ships, which allows communication between frigates and Thailand’s existing Gripen aircraft and Saab 340s, the latter fitted with the ERIEYE airborne radar system. 

Saab also upgraded the command and control system on the aircraft carrier H.T.M.S. Chakri Narubet. The aircraft carrier was fitted with the latest generation of command and control system, 9LV Mk4. Saab also supplied data-link equipment to the ship, which allows communication between the ship and the Royal Thai Air Force’s Gripen fighter aircraft and the airborne radar system Erieye, carried by the Saab 340 AEW.

Saab’s engagement with Thailand goes well beyond defence systems. The regional airline NOK Mini in Thailand has leased six Saab 340Bplus from Saab Aircraft Leasing and started operations on April 1st,2011. Seven cities in Thailand’s northwest and northeast provinces are serviced with daily flights from DonMuang airport in Bangkok, as is Chumpon in the south of Thailand.

Saab has also made consistent efforts to be a part of the Thai community. Not only has Saab undertaken training and technology transfer to build capability on an ongoing basis, the company has provided assistance during times of crisis. During the floods of 2011, Saab’s organisations in Thailand and Sweden donated two water treatment facilities, 300 tents and 100 electric generators to deal with the emergency requirement of shelter and clean water for the people displaced by the floods.