“It has been excellent visit to Cranfield University and Martin Baker, not least very interesting to hear about their close collaborations with Saab. The defence industry is a very important part of the Swedish-British relationship” - Ambassador Torjörn Sohlström speaking during his visits.
On Wednesday 29 May 2019, a delegation of five Swedish Officials, led by Ambassador Sohlström and Swedish Defence Attaché, Colonel Per Jenvald, visited Cranfield University and Martin-Baker in Uxbridge, London. Both sites exemplify the strong ties between the UK’s engineering and technology sector and Swedish defence and security company Saab.
The visits took place as a part of the Swedish Government’s ‘Sweden on Tour’ outreach activity, which aims to reinforce the UK-Swedish bilateral relationship. Saab plays an important role in this relationship and is currently working with nearly 1,000 companies as well as directly providing over 300 jobs across the UK.
The delegation began their visit with a trip to Cranfield University, a postgraduate research facility specialising in Science, Technology and Engineering. They observed the UK’s first operating digital air traffic control tower, which uses Saab air traffic control technology, and discussed Saab’s wider collaboration with Cranfield’s Digital Aviation Research and Technology Centre (DARTeC). DARTeC is being built to lead the UK’s research into digital aviation technology by tackling the research areas surrounding the integration of drone technology, increasing efficiency, using data communication to create secure airspace and producing self-aware technologies.
After a working lunch with Cranfield’s doctoral research students and Swedish staff, the delegation visited the Martin-Baker, based in Uxbridge, London. Martin-Baker manufactures ejector seats used in the Saab Gripen jet, a light single-engine multirole fighter aircraft. The ejector seats are just one example of the close supplier relationship between Saab and the UK, with over a third of the value (36%) of a Saab Gripen jet being produced in the UK.
The visit will ensure that UK-Swedish trade relations remain strong in the future and that Saab continues to play a major role in the UK’s defence and technology sector.