Students and staff from the UK Defence Academy’s Advanced Command and Staff Course visited Saab on 11-12 June to learn about its approach to capability development. The group of 88 officers are studying on the Capability and Acquisition module of the prestigious 11 month post-graduate Advanced Command and Staff Course which trains the top 20% of UK Navy, Army, Air Force officers, civil servants, as well as officers from 21 different nations worldwide. These officers will graduate from the Course to take up high profile command and staff appointments in their respective countries, including positions in the acquisition and capability divisions of defence ministries around the globe.
The group was in Sweden and Denmark as part of their Regional Security Exercise, which seeks to develop officers’ understanding of how partner nations procure and develop capabilities for their armed forces, and also to learn more about how the defence industries in those countries interact with their host governments and defence ministries. During the visit, the group enjoyed an insightful couple of days at Saab’s aviation centre in Linkoping and at its surveillance headquarters in Gothenburg.
At Linkoping, the officers were privileged to listen to an excellent keynote address from the Saab CEO, Mr Hakan Buskhe, which covered SAAB’s strategic outlook and international business models. Following Mr Buskhe’s address, he was presented with a Joint Services Command and Staff College plaque by the Director of the Advanced Command and Staff Course, Commodore Heber Ackland Royal Navy. After the presentation, the Course had the opportunity to learn more about some of Saab’s cutting edge products in the air, land, maritime and training domains with practical demonstrations and hands-on time with the various capabilities on display, including the opportunity to fly in the Gripen simulator.
In Gothenburg, the group were provided with tours of the production facility as well as seminars on Saab’s approach to issues such as human factors development and working with the Swedish Ministry of Defence and Defence Materiel Administration (FMV). These informative sessions enabled the students to contrast the Swedish approach to the UK’s acquisition processes which they had been studying as part of their course.
The Capability and Acquisition module Director, Group Captain John Dickson, Royal Air Force, said “I would like to thank Saab for being such excellent hosts throughout our visits to Linkoping and Gothenburg, and it has been a fantastic opportunity for our students to learn how an innovative business such as Saab is responding to the needs of both the Swedish and international armed forces through development of some cutting-edge defence technology.”
After their visit to Gothenburg, the group visited the Danish Ministry of Defence in Copenhagen before returning back to the UK for the remainder of the course which finishes at the end of July.