1 octobre 2019 | International, Aérospatial

SAAB wants to offer Gripen at half of Rafale cost, with full tech transfer, local production


New Delhi: As India looks to acquire 114 new medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) to shore up its depleting strength, Swedish defence major SAAB has pitched for a complete Transfer of Technology (TOT) and local production of its Gripen fighter jet at “half” the cost of French alternative Rafale.

SAAB India’s chairman and managing director (CMD) Ola Rignell made the cost claims in an interview to ThePrint, but added that he wouldn’t be surprised if India went in for additional 36 Rafale fighters in the coming years, circumventing the ongoing process to acquire new jets in larger numbers.

“India bought 36 Rafale fighter jets from France off the shelf. SAAB and Brazil also signed a contract in 2015 for the sale and local manufacturing of 36 Gripen. The cost was half of what the value of the Indian deal was,” said Rignell, referring to Brazil’s $4.68 billion deal with SAAB to manufacture the Gripen locally.

“We are setting up an entire aviation ecosystem in Brazil. And the experience and knowledge that Brazil is gaining from this manufacturing is being used by them to design their indigenous fighter aircraft,” the SAAB India CMD said.

In 2012, EADS’s Eurofighter and Dassault Aviation’s Rafale had emerged as the winner of the 2007 MMRCA bid, with the latter being the lowest bidder. But the contract negotiations got stuck over prices. Three years later, the Modi government cancelled the protracted talks and decided to buy 36 Rafale fighters in fly-away condition in a €7.87 billion deal.

Now, France is offering another 36 Rafale fighter jets in a government-to-government deal. But these numbers will not suffice in view of the Indian Air Force (IAF)’s MMRCA requirements.

During the interview last week, Rignell spoke about what the company is offering to India, his expectations, and the issue surrounding its sales to Pakistan.

‘Gripen cheaper than Rafale’

Speaking to ThePrint, Ola Rignell highlighted the efficiency of SAAB’s single-engine multirole fighter aircraft vis-à-vis the Rafale, which is being called a game changer for the IAF in the region due to its weapons package.

Gripen has the same weapons package as Rafale including the Meteor air-to-air missile, said Rignell.

“All NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) missiles are integrated with the Gripen. The only one which is missing is SCALP because it is a French missile. But if India wants, we can integrate the SCALP also though Gripen already has a substitute,” said Rignell.

He pointed out that European missile manufacturer MBDA, which makes both Meteor and SCALP, actually found Gripen as the most mature jet to test their missiles on.

“MBDA ‘test beded’ the Meteor on a Gripen. They found the Gripen to be the most mature. Eighty per cent of Meteor firing tests took place from a Gripen,” he said.

Rignell added that Gripen will always be cheaper in comparison to Rafale in life cycle costs as well because of its single-engine build.

‘Would not be surprised’

SAAB’s India chief said the defence major is offering the best deal to the country, but he won’t be surprised if India opted to buy another 36 Rafale jet from France.

“I would not be surprised,” said Ola Rignell. But he noted that the additional 36 jets will not fulfill the IAF’s requirement.

“The original 36 Rafale was bought when the IAF needed 126 MMRCA. Now there is an RFI (Request for Information) for 114 aircraft. Additional 36 Rafale would still not fulfill what the IAF actually not just wants but needs,” he said.

India and France have already spoken about the latter’s proposal for 36 additional Rafale jets, but New Delhi hasn’t disclosed any information about such a move.

No fresh deal with Pakistan

While Saab is offering the Gripen fighters to India, it is also providing the early warning aircraft system to Pakistan — an issue that has upset the IAF.

Pakistan used the SAAB-manufactured early warning aircraft system to coordinate its attack on an Indian military installation in Jammu and Kashmir a day after the Balakot strike earlier in February.

During his visit to Sweden in June this year, Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa had expressed his displeasure with the defence major for supplying Pakistan with early warning systems and also offering Gripen fighters to India.

New Delhi is of the view that it will be difficult to do business with a country that also arms the enemy.

In a bid to pacify the IAF, Ola Rignell persisted that SAAB is not selling any new products to Pakistan.

He also pointed out that every contender has dealt with Pakistan, and other assets were also used in the post-Balakot action.

Pakistan had used French fighters Mirage as well American F-16s.

However, Rignell remained non-committal on future sales to Pakistan, saying the Swedish government decides on such matters and not the company.

“As far as I know, we are not selling any new products to that country (Pakistan). There is an old order and we are fulfilling our contract obligation,” Rignell said.

The Pakistan Air Force had ordered three new SAAB 2000 early warning aircraft in 2017 to supplement the ones that were destroyed in a terror attack on Minhas air base five years before that.

Rignell added that he was part of the meeting in Sweden when Dhanoa raised the issue and this is exactly what he had told him as well.

“We are trying to sell the latest AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) — Golden Eye — to India. We have sold them to UAE. (But) India is already working on its indigenous systems,” he said.

India operates the IL76 ‘Phalcon’ AWACS as well as the Embraer ‘Netra’ early warning aircraft.


Sur le même sujet

  • Rebuilding it ... Better, stronger, faster.

    30 juillet 2018 | International, C4ISR

    Rebuilding it ... Better, stronger, faster.

    By: Mike Gruss   The long-held thinking in Washington is that if the Department of Defense wants to stay ahead of its adversaries, it will need improved capabilities, many of which are being developed outside of the Beltway. To that end, Pentagon leaders launched the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental, commonly referred to in defense circles as DIUx, as a way to attract new companies into the fold and accelerate the pace of acquisition. In fall 2017, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis visited the organization’s headquarters and said its influence would grow. A few months later, DIUx’s director, Raj Shah, left the organization for the private sector. Capt. Sean Heritage has served as the acting managing partner since then. Heritage spoke recently with C4ISRNET’s Mike Gruss. C4ISRNET: What’s the status of the DIUx reboot? CAPT. SEAN HERITAGE: The last two years have been largely focused on fielding capability across the department. We like to say we can solve problems faster, better, cheaper using commercial technologies with nontraditional companies that are out there. We’ve learned that we have some amazing talents on our team and rather than just defaulting to fielding capability, we are creating tailored solutions using organic expertise. We’ve been able to do this primarily in a suborganization we refer to as the Rogue Squadron — it works in the UAF, counter-unmanned aerial system world. We’re sharing our lessons learned across the department. We’re coaching people on how we do things so that they can emulate us. So, we’d like to think that if we are the only ones doing CSOs [commercial solutions openings] and OTAs [other transaction authorities], in our image a year or two from now, then we failed. C4ISRNET: How do you know this is working? HERITAGE: We know all our prototypes aren’t going to transfer to production. Our target goal is between 40 to 60 percent success rate. The feeling is that if we are more successful than that, then we probably aren’t being innovative or creative enough and assuming enough risk on behalf of the department. With regard to our creating line of effort, we’re very proud of the [Air Operations Center] Pathfinder project. Kessel Run was a great example of fielding capability and then leveraging organic talent to create tailored solutions and transition to a program of record. Then the coaching effort, we’re defining success by creating somebody in other organizations in our image every six months. C4ISRNET: On talent development, is part of that asking leaders to rethink how they’re using their people or is it something else? HERITAGE: The best example would go back to Kessel Run. That really started with the Defense Innovation Board. We were able to help the Air Force explore the art of the possible, which made a compelling case for the DIB’s original recommendation: you guys need software developers as a core skill at the unit level to solve these problems in real time. They like to use the example that Home Depot has 6,000 software developers to sell you hammers. You can say the same for any service. How many software developers do you have? Well, the answer is we don’t know, because we don’t have a specialty for software developers, but no doubt once you know people across your team, there are many very capable people who do software development on the side. How do you leverage that? How do you more deliberately recruit to that? And how do you develop them? C4ISRNET: What’s one area where you guys have been able to say, “Without us, we’re not sure this would’ve happened as fast?”   HERITAGE: We are very proud of the work we are doing in the artificial intelligence world. So, we are doing some projects on predictive maintenance. Again, for the Air Force, focusing on the [E-3 Sentry airborne warning and control system] out of the gate. But it’s scaling across other platforms. We’re already able to deliver value by solving that problem, reducing unplanned maintenance. Another contract was let out that’s scaling to the Army with their Bradley Fighting Vehicles. We are going to be doing predictive maintenance with them. Something that may be lost on many people is our involvement in the formulation of the JAIC, the Joint AI Center. That would not have happened without us, but, more specifically, that would not have happened if we weren’t here in the Valley and had access to create relationships with some significant talent in the civilian world. C4ISRNET: I wanted to reframe what you were saying. If DIUx wasn’t in existence, do you think that there wouldn’t be the same level of talent? HERITAGE: The talent we are able to attract to our team, to work through any problems and inform strategic thinking, wouldn’t have happened. What we have is very open-minded senior leaders who are yearning for diverse thinking. And, as a career military guy, it’s not all that diverse. What we’re able to do is reach into a talent pool that has lots of credibility and expertise that isn’t resident in the department. C4ISRNET: What’s something DIUx is doing now, that it wouldn’t have done three years ago? HERITAGE: The biggest difference is the deliberate embracing of our role in creating solutions and scaling ... coaching. Those were things that DIUx didn’t do in the past. We have much more support from across the department. We no longer need that direct cover of the Dep. Sec. Def as a direct report. The percentage of our team that is military is higher than at the beginning. That’s not necessarily by design. We are attempting to recruit more individuals, commercial executives, to help coach us. We don’t want to be a military organization that happens to be in Silicon Valley, Boston and Austin. We want to truly be representatives of the culture. C4ISRNET: You talked about that 40 to 60 percent goal. What are the other ways you measure success? HERITAGE: The first one is the number of customers within the department that are coming our way to ask us to help them solve problems using our relationships, authorities and methodologies. That’s one metric and that number continues to go up. The other is the number of nontraditional companies who want to help solve problems. A commercial solutions opening is a honey-pot for all these creative companies to say, ‘Can I contribute?’ The number of companies continues to go up. It was 40-plus on the last CSO. The record to date is over 70. Now we’re in a position where we have to say no to projects. We’re a little more selective. C4ISRNET: What is DIUx’s role with AI? HERITAGE: A lot of folks claim to be able to contribute to the AI mission area. There are 593 initiatives across the department that claim to be AI. It’s our ability and our connections with Project Maven that have afforded us the opportunity to influence the way ahead for the department and facilitate some conversions. Some of the work that we’re able to do with these nontraditional companies is not only shaping understanding of the power of AI across the department, but it’s focusing everybody as well. We’re able to help make them a bigger part of the conversation or maybe inspire them to a bigger part of the conversation. C4ISRNET: How do you convince a company that working with the Pentagon is the right path, and it’s not a quagmire like it has been at Google? HERITAGE: We don’t spend time trying to convince companies to do or think anything. There are plenty of folks out here and elsewhere, who are passionate about contributing to the cause, and appreciate what they are learning just through having access to the data that we’re able to provide them. But it’s a challenging conversation to be a part of because we don’t want to turn people off. We’re here to provide people with opportunity. C4ISRNET: Where can you help the most in IT? HERITAGE: [Information technology] is an example of how a DoD organization can leverage technology and access to a network that is still secure, yet different than what the rest of the department is using. It’s things that you probably take for granted. We have people come to our team for a short period of time, after a career within the department going, “Wow, look at how my productivity has changed since I’ve been here.” I have access to Slack and the G Suite and a whole host of other tools that are not allowed, and for good reason, on DoD networks. C4ISRNET: One concern is whether new vendors can provide overmatch. Is that the case? HERITAGE: We look at the companies to make sure they’re going to be around long enough to provide this capability. When we talk about our responsibility to help navigate the “Valley of Death,” and make sure that these prototypes don’t just die, these companies have to have legs underneath them and investors behind them to be viable down the road so that we don’t spend our time developing a prototype that they won’t be around to deliver. https://www.c4isrnet.com/thought-leadership/2018/07/27/rebuilding-it-better-stronger-faster/

  • Raytheon/Lockheed Martin Javelin Joint Venture Awarded Contract For 2,100 F-Model Missiles, Marking Initial Full-Rate Production

    30 janvier 2019 | International, Terrestre

    Raytheon/Lockheed Martin Javelin Joint Venture Awarded Contract For 2,100 F-Model Missiles, Marking Initial Full-Rate Production

    ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 30, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The Javelin Joint Venture was awarded a production contract for 2,100 F-Model (FGM-148F) missiles, following a successful and rigorous system qualification test program that included 21 successful flight tests. The contract launches the initial full-rate production agreement for the Javelin F-Model missile, replacing the Javelin FGM-148E (Block I).  The Javelin FGM-148F missile features an advanced multipurpose warhead (MPWH) as part of the man portable, fire-and-forget Javelin missile system. The MPWH incorporates the latest generation shaped charged technology to defeat present and future advanced armored threats while adding a fragmenting steel warhead case to significantly improve lethality against soft targets and light armored vehicles. The Javelin F-Model round deliveries are planned for early 2020 and will be available for international allies, with U.S. government permission.  There are also funded efforts underway to develop a higher performance Lightweight Command Launch Unit (CLU) and FGM-148G Model missile that will dramatically improve system performance while reducing weight and lowering system cost.    First deployed in 1996, Javelin is the world's most versatile and lethal one-man-portable and platform-employed anti-tank and multi-target precision weapon system. To date, more than 45,000 missiles and 12,000 CLUs have been produced. The Javelin weapon system has experienced numerous technology insertions since its initial fielding to stay ahead of advancing threats. Javelin, which is produced by a joint venture between Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, has been used extensively and to great advantage in combat operations in both Afghanistan and Iraq.  Over 5,000 engagements have been successfully conducted by U.S. and coalition forces. Current U.S. allies that have Javelin in inventory include France, Taiwan, Jordan, Qatar, Turkey, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Indonesia, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Ukraine, Georgia, Australia, Estonia, UAE and the United Kingdom. The Javelin Joint Venture is an award-winning enterprise recognized in 2015 by the Office of the Secretary of Defense for its outstanding achievements in providing operational support to warfighters with the highest level of mission success and tactical operational readiness.  About Lockheed Martin  Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 105,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. SOURCE Lockheed Martin https://news.lockheedmartin.com/2019-01-30-Raytheon-Lockheed-Martin-Javelin-Joint-Venture-Awarded-Contract-for-2-100-F-Model-Missiles-Marking-Initial-Full-Rate-Production

  • Chile approved for $634M worth of F-16 upgrades

    27 juillet 2020 | International, Aérospatial

    Chile approved for $634M worth of F-16 upgrades

    By: Aaron Mehta  Updated at 6:35 PM EST to include information on the number of planes being upgraded. WASHINGTON — The U.S. State Department has cleared Chile to purchase modernization upgrades for its F-16 fleet, with a potential $634 million price tag. Chile currently operates 44 F-16s. That includes 10 Block 50 models purchased in the early 2000s, as well as 36 older models bought second-hand from the Netherlands. Reports that Chile would look to upgrade their existing F-16 fleet first emerged in 2017, but final details had not been made public. Analysts have also speculated that Chile may look to buy a small number of new F-16s to supplement its fleet. The upgrades included in this potential sale include 19 Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing Systems (JHMCS); six inert MK-82 (500LB) general purpose bomb bodies; two MXU-650KB Air Foil Groups (AFG); 44 LN-260 Embedded GPS/INS (EGI) and 49 Multifunctional Information Distribution System Joint Tactical Radios (MIDS JTRS). Also included are avionics equipment and software upgrades, new radios, upgraded IFF transponders, secure communications equipment and other parts. The upgrades are expected to go across the 44 plane fleet. “The proposed sale will improve Chile’s capability to meet current and future threats by modernizing its F-16 fleet, which will allow Chile to maintain sovereignty and homeland defense, increase interoperability with the United States and other partners, and deter potential adversaries,” per a statement on the website of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency. Lockheed Martin, which produces the F-16, will be the prime contractor on the deal, should it go through. All DSCA announcements must be cleared by Congress. At that point negotiations begin. Quantities and dollar values often change in the final agreement. Although this is the first FMS case approved for Chile since the start of fiscal 2017, the F-16 has proven to be a reliable sales vehicle for Lockheed abroad, with 14 F-16 related FMS requests cleared by DSCA during this time period. https://www.defensenews.com/global/the-americas/2020/07/23/chile-okd-for-f-16-upgrades/

Toutes les nouvelles