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Embraer to manage Gripen NG development and production for Brazil’s F-X2 program

July 11, 2014 by · Comment
Filed under: Brazil, Embraer, SAAB, Sweden, Syndicated Industry News 

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Sea Giraffe Radar now AN/SPS-77(V)1 in U.S. — Press Release

EAST SYRACUSE, N.Y., Jan. 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Saab Defense and Security USA (SDAS) announced today that Saab’s Sea Giraffe AMB Radar recently received its official designation from the U.S. Navy.  The Sea Giraffe AMB Radar system’s official U.S. Navy nomenclature is now the AN/SPS-77 (V)1.

Partnering with General Dynamics, Bath Iron Works and Austal, SDAS is responsible for integrating the AN/SPS-77 radar into the USS Independence and other ships of the U.S. Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Independence variant program.

The AN/SPS-77 is multi-role medium-range 3D surveillance radar system for naval applications. It provides medium range, simultaneous air and surface surveillance and can be employed in a weapon designation role. The SPS-77 is suitable for demanding naval environments from the littorals to blue-water operations.

The radar system is being adapted for U.S. operations by the Sensor Systems division of SDAS. The division, located in Syracuse, New York, is also responsible for the integration, installation, and testing of the AN/SPS 77 systems as well as for providing in-service sustainment and repair services.

Mr. Erik Smith, Vice President of Sensor Systems Division within SDAS, sees the new designation of the radar as a key milestone in Saab’s growing support of the U.S. Navy and the LCS program. “The AN/SPS 77 has proven to be the most capable and adaptable medium range multi-mission radar asset available to the LCS program and future U.S. maritime security platforms.  The radar system is able to efficiently incorporate new capabilities through Saab’s modular architecture and Rapid Technology Insertion process.”

“Receiving this U.S. Navy system designation means that Sea Giraffe is now formally acknowledged by the U.S. Navy as part of the U.S. Navy standard inventory. Saab is very proud to deliver this new and highly-advanced surveillance capability to the U.S. Navy,” said Smith.

To date, the AN/SPS 77 has been installed on LCS 2 (USS Independence), LCS 4 (USS Coronado), and LCS 6 (USS Jackson). Five additional AN/SPS-77 radar systems are in various stages of manufacturing and test to meet LCS construction schedules with four more systems under contract to complete the current deliveries under the LCS Block Buy contract.

Saab Defense and Security USA LLC delivers advanced military technology and systems to United States armed forces and other government agencies. Headquartered in Sterling Virginia, the company has business units and local employees in four states.

Saab serves the global market with world-leading products, services and solutions ranging from military defence to civil security. Saab has operations and employees on all continents and constantly develops, adopts and improves new technology to meet customers’ changing needs.

 

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A Win for Saab: Brazil Opts for the Gripen NG

December 19, 2013 by · Comment
Filed under: Brazil, SAAB, Sweden, Syndicated Industry News 

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Boeing Teams with Saab to Develop a New Trainer for the USAF T-X Program

December 6, 2013 by · Comment
Filed under: Boeing, SAAB, Sweden, Syndicated Industry News, United States 

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Saab partners on bid for $2 billion Close Combat Vehicle Program in Canada — Press Release

WASHINGTON, Oct. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Defence and Security company Saab and ABB is partnering with BAE System in a competitive bid for the Department of National Defence (DND) $2 billion Close Combat Vehicle (CCV) program. The Canadian Army requires high survival medium weight vehicles for future missions. The bid includes a total of 108 vehicles along with an option for the purchase of an additional 30 vehicles.

A significant portion of the vehicle will be manufactured in Canada through the government’s Industrial Regional Benefits (IRB) program. IRB policy requires business activity in the Canadian economy equal to 100 per cent of the contract value.

Saab has named ABB Analytical to source, supply and produce an electro-optic control system. This program that will have important impact on the local economy, creating about 50 jobs for ABB and sub-contractors located in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario as well as extend economic value across Canada.

“The Saab model ensures job maintenance for engineering and technical staff as well as the creation of new jobs. Producing in Canada will provide stability to the site and will allow ABB Analytical Measurements to increase its contribution to the local aerospace sector in the province of Quebec, Canada,” confirmed Marc-Andre Soucy, director of the Remote Sensing Industry at ABB Analytical Measurements.

In Canada Saab has been executing IRB obligations for about 25 years, and to facilitate the IRBs, as well as provide service and support capabilities Saab has established three companies across the country in Dartmouth, Ottawa and Ralston and add to that the lately acquired Klein Systems Group Ltd in British Columbia.

“With the CCV program Saab is continuing to grow and invest in Canada, and in order to be ready for the start of the program, Saab has already transferred its technology to ABB creating opportunities, for the Canadian industry into major worldwide procurement programs, ” says Patrick Palmer, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing Saab Technologies Canada, Inc.

For ABB and its Canadian partners, this project represents an important springboard for future expansion of existing capacity as well as collateral benefits for other markets. As a key industrial partner to SAAB, ABB long-term benefits arising from expanded capabilities and introduction to new business areas has a direct impact on its local community.

“The $2 billion IRB program requires 100 per cent Canadian content, and some 50 Canadian Companies from coast to coast are expected to be part of the BAE Systems team and technology transfer during acquisition and the In-service Support phase delivers a significant number of high quality jobs for Canada.” declares Mikael Segerman (Lt Col), Sales Director Canada, BAE Systems Hagglunds.

Saab serves the global market with world-leading products, services and solutions ranging from military defence to civil security. Saab has operations and employees on all continents and constantly develops, adopts and improves new technology to meet customers’ changing needs.

www.saabgroup.com
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Founded in 1973, the ABB Measurement Products facility in Quebec City employs more than 200 employees. The company designs, manufactures and markets high-performance spectrometers, and is an optical systems integrator and a leader in the space and defense markets. The ABB Group of companies (www.abb.com) operates in some 100 countries and employs approximately 140,000 people. In Canada, ABB employs more than 5,000 people from coast to coast.

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Gripen Fires Production Versions of MBDA’s Meteor air/air Missiles

July 2, 2013 by · Comment
Filed under: SAAB, Syndicated Industry News 

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Brazil Embarks on an AEW&C Upgrade

February 28, 2013 by · Comment
Filed under: Brazil, Embraer, SAAB, Sweden, Syndicated Industry News 
The Brazilian Air Force is upgrading its E-99 Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) aircraft. Saab Defence and security company announced today it has received an order from the Brazilian company Embraer Defense and Security, for the upgrade of the Erieye AEW&C Mission System. The total order amounts to about US$60 million

Brazil Embarks on an AEW&C Upgrade

February 28, 2013 by · Comment
Filed under: Brazil, Embraer, SAAB, Sweden, Syndicated Industry News 
r99The Brazilian Air Force is upgrading its E-99 Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) aircraft. Saab Defence and security company announced today it has received an order from the Brazilian company Embraer Defense and Security, for the upgrade of the Erieye AEW&C Mission System. The total order amounts to about US$60 million

Rudra Growing Claws

February 7, 2013 by · Comment
Filed under: HAL, SAAB, Syndicated Industry News 
The development of a weaponizaed version for the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) was far from a simple upgrade; the integration of multiple weapon systems simultaneously was a complicated task involving four major groups of systems and weapons, from eight countries - Israel, France, Belgium, South Africa, Germany, Italy, USA and India.

Rafale Wins One As India Accepts Dassault’s Bid for MMRCA

The long running sage of India’s new fighter contract took a major step closer to completion yesterday as the Indian government announced that Dassault Rafale will be considered for the South East Asian country’s Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) contract. In November there had been a decision to start the process to select the final winner of the contract with the choice between the Rafale and the Eurofighter Typhoon.

The MMRCA started over two years ago and companies from across the globe submitted bids. The original proposals came from America’s Lockheed Martin (LMT) and Boeing (BA) along with the two Western European contractors as well as Sweden’s SAAB and Russia’s MiG. A series of trails and evaluations were conducted along with analysis of the proposals and the decision was made in November to eliminate all but Dassault and Eurofighter.

The contract for 126 advanced fighters could be worth well over $10 billion including the cost of support, spares and engineering.

The next few months will see the Indian government negotiating the final terms of the contract including the key provision of offsets. Dassault is proposing to transfer the production capability for the aircraft to India with over 100 of the aircraft being at least partially manufactured and assembled there.

Previously India had relied primarily on British and Russian equipment while trying to invest in an indigenous arms capability. Recently they have realized that in order to gain access to more advanced technology they would need to buy U.S. and European weapons from less traditional suppliers. These have included transports and patrol aircraft from Boeing and Lockheed Martin as well as exploring helicopter and artillery buys from Western Europe.

India has always demanded strict offsets and investment in their economy and have had to adjust these rules to allow companies like Boeing and others from the U.S. to bid. Even so it is good business for a winning bidder to be able to set up production facilities in India as it allows access to that growing market.

The win is significant for Dassault which has struggled to find a buyer beyond the French military and faced issues with keeping their employees busy and revenues up. The Indian contract will aid in both.

Photo from Ronnie Macdonald’s flickr photostream.

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India Moves A Step Closer On Fighter Decision

As reported last month India’s Government announced on Friday that they have begun the final process for selecting the winner in the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) contract. This is to buy a modern, Western fighter aircraft to replace some aging Russian ones and supplement a modern fighter being jointly developed by India and Russia. After a lengthy contest the remaining two contenders are Eurofighter and France’s Dassault Rafael.

On the 4th the committee responsible for negotiating the price of the 126 aircraft and its life-cycle support received the final bids from the two companies. The estimated cost for the contract will be in the $10 billion range. The final review and negotiations leading to the choice of a winner should be completed by the end of 2011.

The contest began almost five years ago and proposals were received from six different companies. Two American; Lockheed Martin (LMT) and Boeing (BA); Sweden’s SAAB and Russia’s United Aircraft Corp. as well as the two Western European aircraft. Interestingly after the evaluation of the proposals and analysis of the aircraft’s capabilities all were eliminated but the Typhoon and Rafael. This was a blow to the U.S. who were hoping to be able to sell a modern fighter to India building upon two earlier contract negotiations for Boeing’s P-8 maritime patrol aircraft and Lockheed’s C-130J transport.

The U.S. after their aircraft had been eliminated had raised the idea of proposing a variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) for the contract but India did not entertain that. The JSF is currently in Low Rate Production and is the product of the U.S. and several other countries. Unlike the other six earlier bids it is a Fifth Generation aircraft.

This contract along with Brazil’s stalled contest are the only two major foriegn fighter sales currently available although Japan is planning to begin the process to buy a new aircraft. The major aerospace contractors are looking for these deals to make up for reduced spending by the U.S. and European governments due to budgetary pressures and the cut backs in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The winning of the Indian contract would be the first foreign sale of the Rafael which is only used by the French Air Force and Navy. The Eurofighter has been sold to Saudi Arabia. Both aircraft were used in the recent air campaign against Libya. Eurofighter would also like the sale as the European partners such as the U.K. and Germany are considering buying less Typhoons then they originally committed to due to funding shortfalls.

The sale to India too would mark a breakthrough as they traditionally have bought Russian or domestic aircraft or with programs like the Hawk trainer manufactured them in India. The contract has stiff offset requirements and the winner will have to invest around $5 billion in the Indian economy. India’s offset and technology transfer rules have in the past made it hard especially for American companies to bid on their military contracts. This deal along with others are the result of modifications to those rules made in recent years.

This contract will see the first 18 aircraft built overseas and then the remainder manufactured in India.

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India To Announce New Fighter In November

The Indian Government yesterday stated that it had completed their evaluation of the offset reports submitted by the two bidders for their new fighter program. This will allow Eurofighter and Dassault to submit their final offers with a goal of announcing the winner in November.

The two Western European companies were chosen from among a total of six offerors to go on in the contest after a series of evaluations earlier this year. Lockheed Martin (LMT), Boeing (BA), MiG and SAAB had also proposed aircraft but their proposals were knocked out after a series of reviews and flight demonstrations.

Since Brazil’s contest for a similar combat aircraft has seemed to stall the Indian contract is one of the largest foreign sales available at about $10 billion and became very important as the U.S. and Europe plan to reduce their defense spending. With the U.S. focusing on the F-35 from Lockheed and countries like Great Britain, Germany and France ending their buys of the Eurofighter there has been little sales for other fighters. The Dassault Rafael and SAAB Gripen have not found another user other then the home nation as well which put pressure on them to try and keep their production line going.

The elimination of the two U.S. aircraft was also a surprise as India had been looking to that country for more equipment. This has included purchases of Boeing P-8I maritime patrol aircraft and C-17 transports. The choice not to have one of their fighters continue into the next round dealt a blow to the U.S. defense contractors hope of selling more to India.

When the decision is made it will mark the end to an over four year acquisition process with a hope that there will not be any corruption issues as has happened with so many Indian procurement programs in the past. The new fighter is a key component of the upgrading of the capabilities of India.

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SAAB to Provide Training Targets for U.S. Army

The U.S. defense budget encompasses spending on all different types of products and services. The increase in spending after 9/11 required a ramp up of suppliers for all of the things the Pentagon wanted to buy. Due to the shrinking of the U.S. industrial base in the Nineties after the “Peace Dividend” was executed by President Clinton and Congress this meant for some items the U.S. had to turn to foreign suppliers. Many of these defense contractors also expanded their U.S. operations through mergers & acquisitions of U.S. based corporations.

That did not mean, though, that some suppliers had already entered the market. Swedish aerospace company SAAB (SAAB:Stockholm) has been delivering training targets to the U.S. Army since the 1970′s. They continue this work with qualification on a recent Indefinite Quantity/Indefinite Delivery (ID/IQ) contract to supply these targets. SAAB is one of five contractors qualifying and they could win up to $475 million in orders if all parts of the contract is executed.

SAAB has been providing similar systems since 2002 for the Army and Marine Corps. The targets will be used on different ranges to support weapon qualification and training.

SAAB recently won a major contract to install their Sea Giraffe radar system on U.S. Navy Littoral Combat Ships (LCS). The radar will be used by the Austal America version of the LCS built in Mobile, AL. The shipbuilder’s parent company is Austal in Australia so the program has a definite international flare.

Even though the U.S. defense budget is expected to decline significantly over the next decade that does not mean international providers will be forced out. Many of them have a substantial U.S. presence now and some provide products necessary for the U.S. There will also be contracts that they will win because they have the best bid but it will become harder for them to do this.

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Saab Sensis Receives SeaPort-e Contract Award from U.S. Navy — Press Release

September 26, 2011 by · Comment
Filed under: Business Line, Companies, Events, logistics, Press Releases, SAAB, SETA 

Saab Sensis Receives SeaPort-e Contract Award from U.S. Navy

Saab subsidiary, Saab Sensis Corporation has received a contract from the U.S. Navy for Seaport-Enhanced (SeaPort-e), the U.S. Navy’s web-based contracting source for fleet-wide support services. As a SeaPort-e Prime contractor, Saab Sensis will be able to compete for contracts that will be solicited on an ongoing basis across 22 functional service areas by Naval Sea Systems Command; Naval Air Systems Command; Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command; Naval Supply Systems Command; Military Sealift Command; Naval Facilities Command; Strategic Systems Programs; Office of Naval Research; and the Marine Corps. Saab Sensis has qualified for a number of functional support areas, from Research and Development to Installation and Checkout and In-Service Engineering support.

“SeaPort-e provides a mechanism for the U.S. Navy to contract with Saab Sensis for a broad spectrum of advanced and legacy sensor engineering and related support services in an efficient and affordable manner,” said Erik Smith, general manager of Saab Sensis Defense & Security Systems. “This award ensures that our warfighters have access to the critical technical capabilities and expertise they need to conduct their missions.”

SeaPort-e was established by the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) and its Warfare Centers, which are responsible for the acquisition of all U.S. Navy ship and shipboard systems to maximize the efficiency and economy of support service procurement. The Navy Systems Commands competitively solicit, award and manage their service requirements among SeaPort-e contract holders through the SeaPort-e web portal. The result is a standardized, efficient means of soliciting offers from approved team members. For more information, visit www.seaport.navy.mil/default.aspx.

Defense and aviation market leaders rely on Saab Sensis Corporation to provide advanced sensor technologies, next-generation radars, automation, modeling and simulation solutions. The company serves military, civil aviation, airport and airline customers in more than 35 countries across six continents.

Saab North America provides a broad range of products, services and solutions ranging from military defence to homeland security to customers in the U.S and Canada. Saab Sensis Corporation is a business unit of the Saab Group.

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Navy Goes International for LCS Radar

Update at 1700 CDT – The post has been updated to make clear that the SAAB radar has been selected only for the Austal USA version of the LCS.

The U.S. Navy’s new Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) is a small combatant designed to fight close in to shore. It will carry out a series of different missions including anti-piracy operations, Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), surveillance and reconnaissance and sanction enforcement. It is unique to the U.S. Navy at this time in that two very different designs with the same basic capability are being built from two contractors This is to allow rapid production.

LCS construction is being carried out by Lockheed Martin (LMT) teamed with Marinette Marine Corp. of Wisconsin as well as Austal USA, a subsidiary of Australian company Austal. The Navy has ordered 9 of the ships so far split between the two teams.

The Navy announced this week that it has decided to install the Sea Giraffe AMB radar onto the Austal USA version of the LCS. This system is manufactured by SAAB’s (SAABB) American subsidiary. The “Agile Multi-Beam” radar provides air and surface surveillance capabilities and is used to generate a three dimensional picture of the area to support operations. It has already been installed on a variety of combatants in use with countries like Sweden, Canada and Australia.

No value for the contract was given.

The first two, LCS 1, USS Freedom, and LCS 2, USS Independence, have already been completed.

The Navy had gone back and forth on the acquisition strategy for the ship due to concerns about price and schedule after the first two were put on contract. The original plan to use the two sources was ended and there was discussion of ordering batches of ten to a single producer at a time. After the proposals were received for the first contract from Lockheed and Austal the prices were so good the Navy went back to ordering from two suppliers.

Late last year the Navy gave contracts for ten ships each to the two companies.

The LCS remain controversial due to their size, weapon suite and capabilities. The Navy seems committed to the program and has begun large scale production. The decision to use the Sea Giraffe also highlights their commitment. It is uncommon for a non-American system to be ordered like this. The standard U.S. Navy radar and combat system, the AEGIS Weapon System, is much too large for the LCS and buying an existing system like this should save time and schedule.

As with all new classes of ships once they have been in service for a few years, worked out their kinks and demonstrated their capabilities they will be accepted and should be a valuable addition.

Due to the concerns about future shipbuilding budgets and capabilities the LCS if it really is built in the numbers proposed will make up a decent portion of the U.S. surface fleet by mid-Century. Ships last a long time and can receive incremental upgrades as technology progresses and that is what will happen with this class.

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EADS Enters into Agreement with Wipro to Get Ready for Fighter Production

As India moves forward with its contest for a new fighter to be made by a Western producer the potential suppliers are angling to get ready for the contract to start. The contest started over two years ago for the advanced aircraft and bids were received from six different suppliers. These included the American companies Boeing (BA) and Lockheed Martin (LMT), Russia’s MiG, Sweden’s SAAB, the multi-national consortium Eurofighter and France’s Dassault.

Recently as part of the contract evaluation process the Indian selection authorities made a decision to eliminate all of the aircraft but the two from Western Europe.

As part of this contract as with most Indian defense deals there are significant offset requirements that must be met. Actually to spur bids from Western companies who previously had found it hard to participate in contests the Government reduced their requirements from traditionally very high ones. Offsets require the winner to spend some percentage of the total contract value in the awarding country. Often it can be by buying parts, or paying for assembly work, or in some other business line as long as it meets the total requirement. Boeing (BA) has begun to do this as part of their contract for six P-8I maritime patrol aircraft.

Even though no winner has yet to be announced for the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) contract companies like EADS (EADS:P) who are part of the Eurofighter consortium that makes the Typhoon fighter have begun to position themselves if they do win. The company has announced a deal with Indian consortium Wipro to provide components to its subsidiary CESA.

Even if Eurofighter does not win the MMRCA contract this agreement will support EADS production of other aircraft and aerospace components if they want to use it. As with all of the large aviation contractors EADS is looking for expansion into Asia to be nearer emerging markets as well as perhaps to gain benefits of labor costs and available infrastructure.

As the decision on who will win this contract gets closer more of the companies involved in the production of the two contenders will be announcing deals like this. India’s policies require this investment and in the long run it only makes good business sense.

Photo from tony.evans Flickr photostream.

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India’s Order Extends Boeing’s C-17 Production

Boeing (BA) is facing the end of production for the C-17 strategic transport as the United States decided to not buy anymore of the aircraft despite its heavy use in supporting the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Over the last few years Congress had increased the total number of aircraft being bought for the U.S. Air Force despite its and the Defense Department requests to stop procurement.

The C-17 has seen sales to overseas customers with Australia, the United Kingdom and some Gulf States purchasing the system. Even so Boeing could see the end of production and had begun to shut down its production line in Long Beach, CA. This facility gained when McDonnell-Douglas merged with Boeing in the Nineties was destined to close when the C-17 was finished as Boeing had no other work for it.

The company and its workers received good news today as it was announced that India had agreed to sign a contract for ten of the aircraft. Not only is the deal worth over $4 billion it will keep the production line open for one more year. This buys even more time for Boeing to find other customers for the aircraft or even convince the U.S. to procure more.

India has in the last few years turned to Western defense contractors for different systems including buying the P-8 maritime patrol aircraft from Boeing in two recent contracts. This is in a bid to upgrade their capabilities beyond what their domestic suppliers and the more traditional Russian and UK companies have been providing.

India currently has a new fighter in competition but recently down selected to just two offerings – France’s Rafael and Eurofighter’s Typhoon. The two American bidders along with MiG and SAAB did not make it through to the final round of the contest. Some saw this as a deliberate snub of America possibly related to policy towards Pakistan and the potentiality that if there was a conflict between India and its neighbor the U.S. might boycott of supplying either nation.

Boeing, though, may get a trifecta of contracts as India is still considering the AH-64 Apache as a contender for a new attack helicopter. The Defense Department has notified Congress of a potential $1.4 billion worth of helicopters, support and training.

India remains a market of great potential for the U.S. defense contractors as they face the possibility of cuts to the U.S. budget and the end of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan with all the potential for reduced revenue and earnings. So far deals with India have been few-and-far between but today’s contract announcement is a step in the right direction.

Photo from kingair42′s Flickr photostream.

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Tactical Communications Group and Saab Announce New Agreement to Bring C4I Solutions to Military Market — Press Release

Tactical Communications Group and Saab Announce New Agreement to Bring C4I Solutions to Military Market

TEWKSBURY, MA and JARFALLA, SWEDEN- ( June 6, 2011) – Tactical Communications Group (TCG), the leading independent supplier of tactical data link (“TDL”) software solutions for military test, training, simulation and operational applications worldwide, and Saab (STO: SAABB), a global provider of world class defense and security solutions, today announced the signing of a new Letter of Intent.

Under terms of this agreement, the parties intend to more closely collaborate on technical, marketing and business development initiatives designed to quickly bring innovative new C4I solutions to market. These solutions will leverage Saab’s command and control products and capabilities with TCG’s comprehensive tactical data link solutions, enabling both companies to continue to expand market share in new and existing defense market segments globally.

“Tactical data link capabilities are increasingly becoming core to many offerings in our broad product portfolio, and we are pleased to announce this agreement and to work more closely with TCG in bringing unique, differentiated and cost-effective solutions to the global defense marketplace,” said Mikael Olsson, Vice President, Marketing and Sales, C4I Solutions, Saab Security and Defence Solutions.

“We are very excited to expand our relationship with Saab, and look forward to collaborating extensively with them in bringing new air, naval and land product offerings to market globally, leveraging the considerable capabilities of TCG’s LinkPRO data link processing engine, combined with Saab’s superior C2 system offerings. Saab’s excellence in product innovation and laser focus on customer satisfaction will continue to serve them well as they expand globally, and we are very pleased to work more closely with Saab,” said Edward Durkin, President and CEO of TCG.

“With extensive experience in competing tactical data link solutions over many years, and having enjoyed real market success with TCG’s LinkPRO solution working with Saab’s Air C4I systems in many countries throughout Europe, Asia Pacific and the Middle East, we have now made the decision to work even more closely with TCG. We plan on providing expanded C2 and Situational Awareness solutions for our global military customers across multiple market segments, and look forward to continued success with TCG,” said Martin Vobora, Senior Director, Marketing and Sales, C4I Solutions, Saab Security and Defence Solutions.

About TCG – Advancing Secure Communications for the Battlefield

Founded in 2001, Tactical Communications Group (TCG) is the leading independent supplier of tactical data link (TDL) software solutions for military communications systems. TCG’s comprehensive portfolio of TDL testing, training and battlefield operations software solutions provides the warfighter proven multi-link communications capabilities to optimize performance and increase mission effectiveness. TCG customers include leading military organizations, systems integrators and test agencies worldwide. For more information on TCG, please visit www.g2tcg.com or call us at 978-654-4800.

About Saab

Saab (www.saabgroup.com) serves the global market with world-leading products, services and solutions ranging from military defence to civil security. Saab has operations and employees on all continents and constantly develops, adopts and improves new technology to meet customers’ changing needs.

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India to Buy More P-8I Patrol Aircraft from Boeing

The United States Navy has been using the P-3C Orion as its primary patrol and anti-submarine aircraft for about forty years. This propeller driven aircraft was manufactured by Lockheed Martin (LMT). It is in the process of being replaced by the P-8A Poseidon aircraft based on Boeing’s (BA) 737 jet airliner.

There are currently P-8A aircraft being tested by the Navy and the first initial production aircraft is nearing completion. The P-3C has seen some use by U.S. allies and it is expected that the P-8A will also follow suit.

Right now though the only confirmed international customer is the Indian government. In the largest defense contract between that country and the United States they agreed two years ago to purchase eight of the aircraft to replace their fleet of Soviet designed and built Ilyushin aircraft.

India had traditionally purchased equipment from either the United Kingdom or Russia. Their rules on offsets and use of domestic corporations have made their market unattractive for U.S. and other Western companies but in the last few years as part of an attempt to upgrade their overall capability they have relaxed those rules. The deal for the “P-8I” is hopefully the foot in the door for other large contracts such as the new fighter currently undergoing source selection and potential helicopter contracts.

Now it has come out that India intends to increase the order to 12 aircraft. This will increase the total value of the contract to close to $3 billion. India is also looking at buying C-17 transports from Boeing. An order the company needs to keep their Long Beach, CA production line open for that aircraft.

Boeing is also competing its F/A-18 aircraft for the new fighter against a diverse group of competitors. Sweden’s SAAB (SAAB), Lockheed, Eurofighter, Russia’s MiG and France’s Dassault Aviation have also submitted proposals. The award has been dragged out and now may not occur until 2012.

India is seen as a market along with other Asian and Middle Eastern nations that may be turned to to balance declines in domestic defense spending expected in the U.S. and Europe. The P-8I is hoped to be the first of many such contracts.

Photo from Henrique Vicete’s flickr photostream.

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Foreign Fighter Contracts Not Materializing Soon

The Western defense contractors face a shrinking market right now domestically for advanced combat aircraft. The U.S. and many of its Allies are committed to Lockheed Martin’s (LMT) F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and that system will dominate their inventories for the next few decades. The U.S. ended production of the F-22 Raptor by Lockheed and Boeing (BA) and European nations have pretty much finished up ordering Eurofighter Typhoon’s with the United Kingdom even planning retiring some of their older aircraft due to budgetary pressures. France and Sweden have their own domestic aircraft in the Dassault Rafale and SAAB Gripen but have purchased as many of those as they really can.

All of these companies and countries have looked to overseas customers to sell these aircraft with the two biggest deals being for Brazil and India. Unfortunately these contract are not materializing in the near future and may now be pushed out a year or two.

India has planned major upgrades to its military through the purchase of advanced Western systems. This has included aircraft like C-130J transports from Lockheed and P-8I maritime patrol aircraft from Boeing (BA) but their cornerstone program was for over a hundred fighters. This contract has been going through the source selection with the competitors from the U.S., Europe and Russia demonstrating their aircraft and at one point was hoped to be awarded this summer. It is now being reported that this major contract won’t be decided until early in 2012.

Brazil has also been planning to expand and improve its military through some deals with overseas suppliers. They too would like to buy a new fighter and that contest has seemed to be between Boeing’s F/A-18 and the Rafale although SAAB bid as well. The original plan was to award this year but due to budget cuts the decision will now be postponed for at least twelve months. There are concerns that it may not happen at all as Brazil had to cut its defense spending significantly.

Finally Dassault had hoped that the U.A.E. might invest in the Rafale as well which so far has yet to find a foriegn buyer. The Emirates already operates French Mirage aircraft and the Rafale would be the logical extension of these. The big arms expo in the U.A.E., IDEX, came and went though without any announcement of a deal although a contract was awarded to upgrade Mirage aircraft worth about $30 million. Failure to win this contract would be a blow to France’s aggressive campaign to sell the fighter to new customers.

It had been hoped that these overseas sales would make up for the decline in U.S. and European defense spending and help keep production lines going and workers employed. Unfortunately they are not materializing as fast as hoped and this may affect different contractor’s plans. The Asian and South American markets were seen as key to keep the defense business going in the next several years. It may be that even these nations who were hoping to improve their military may not have the money necessarily to meet their original plans.

Photo from Jerry Gunner’s flickr photostream.

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India Begins Second Track for New Fighter

Since independence India has primarily relied on a mix of British and Russian equipment. Some of this is purchased direct from the suppliers but India has often established assembly facilities and shared manufacturing for some systems. This includes jet aircraft such as the MiG-27 and MiG-29 fighters acquired from Russia.

In the last two years as part of an attempt to rapidly upgrade the technological level of their weapon systems and to take advantage of the world armaments market India has been more willing to buy Western equipment direct. This includes maritime patrol aircraft and transports from U.S. contractors Boeing (BA) and Lockheed Martin (LMT) as well as working with Israeli and European companies.

One big contract that is winding its way through source selection is that for a new multi-role combat aircraft. India is reviewing proposals from Eurofighter, Rafael, SAAB, MiG, Boeing, and Northrop Grumman (NOC). These aircraft would most likely be made overseas but India does require offsets and investment in their economy.

This week India announced that it has signed a contract with the two Russian companies Sukhoi and Rosoboronexport to team with their own HAL to begin development of a new advanced fighter that would be based on the Russian T-50 aircraft but would be uniquely Indian. The initial contract is for about $295 million and would lead to the production of a fifth generation aircraft similar to the F-22 or Joint Strike Fighter.

The Indian military industry is taking on a tough project with this fighter program. These are about the most advanced systems to develop and put into production. This plan shows that India wants to improve its capabilities both in the air and with their industry. If they succeed they will have a viable aircraft both for their own use and for sales to other countries moving them onto the world stage in armaments production.

Photo from Jaiden’s flickr photostream.

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Rumors of Indian C-17 Contract Closure

Unless there is a miracle in the 2011 defense budget whenever it is passed by Congress the last C-17 for the U.S. Air Force has been funded. The strategic transport has received several plus ups in recent budgets to buy aircraft beyond what the Air Force and Department of Defense has planned. Boeing (BA) is already planning the winding down of the production line and the factory in Long Beach, CA.

The C-17 has seen heavy use in the current operations in Iraq and Afghanistan as lift is one of the most important force projections and support assets. Even though the mission the aircraft carries out is important the Obama Administration made ending production one part of their defense spending reforms. In the 2009 and 2010 budgets they accepted the additional aircraft from Congress as part of getting their other changes through including ending F-22 procurement.

The C-17 has been purchased by some foreign customers and the U.S. and Boeing have aggressively marketed it to others. The aircraft remains the only Western long range strategic transport in production alongside Lockheed Martin’s (LMT) shorter ranged and smaller C-130J. EADS (EADS:P) is now offering their A400M transport which falls between the two U.S. aircraft offering longer range then the C-130 and smaller cargo capability compared to the C-17.

Now it seems some of these efforts are paying off. Reportedly Kuwait wants to purchase at least one of the aircraft and India is ready to close on a deal for ten. The total value of these sales is over $4 billion.

India has long tried to develop their indigenous arms industry while buying selected Russian and Western equipment. Over the last few years in a bid to modernize their military and raise their general technological level they have attempted to purchase more U.S. equipment. These have included Boeing P-8I maritime patrol aircraft and an ongoing competition for a new fighter that includes bids from Boeing, Lockheed, MiG, Daussault and SAAB. The C-17 buy would be part of this effort.

The more foreign sales that Boeing can secure the longer it can keep the production line open and people in California employed. The Indian sale would be quite an addition as it would become the largest fleet outside of the U.S. These sales will be much appreciated by Boeing and its workers.

Photo from TMWolf’s flickr photostream.

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Canada Considering Entering New Fighter Sweepstakes

Right now two of the biggest military aviation contracts out there are new fighters for Brazil and India. Both of these contracts have attracted bids from United States and European defense contractors. In Brazil the contest seems to be between the Boeing (BA) F/A-18 and the French Rafael. In India there have been offers from Boeing, Lockheed Martin (LMT), MiG of Russia, Rafael. Eurofighter and SAAB of Sweden. These contracts are interesting as all of these companies face declining markets at home due to budget difficulties and the decision by the U.S. and many of its Allies to focus on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) headed up by Lockheed.

Canada currently operates a force of older F/A-18 aircraft and is planning a potential buy of more modern aircraft worth about $9 billion (Canadian). Canada has put some money into the development of the JSF as have countries like Great Britain, the Netherlands, Australia and Japan but is not committed to buy the aircraft. They certainly could do that when the aircraft is ready in the 2015 – 2017 time frame or they could conduct a new competition. If they did this they would certainly draw a diverse group of suitors similar to what India has. The market for new fighters was supposed to stagnate as thousands of F-35 replace the F-16 aircraft of numerous U.S. Allies. Now with the delays and cost increases to that program some countries are having second thoughts.

A third major competition would be good for the industry and would allow some production lines like the SAAB Gripen to remain hot as the JSF program tries to get itself sorted out. If countries like Holland do decide to go a different path the market for current in production aircraft will increase greatly.

More fallout as the JSF program struggles with its cost and schedule may be expected as current customers re-think their commitments. This will increase the cost to the U.S. military while reducing Lockheed’s chances of making up some of their losses on the development piece of the contract. Canada if they choose to not buy the JSF may be the start of some bad news for the program and its prime contractor.

Photo from TMWolf flickr photostream.

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Brazil Delays Fighter Order

One of the biggest contracts currently under consideration is Brazil’s buying of modern fighter aircraft. Right now bids from Dassault, SAAB and Boeing are under consideration. This along with India’s new fighter program are two of the larger aviation contracts waiting for award. Brazil as part of this contract is expecting a great deal of investment in their economy using this and a major helicopter deal with Eurocopter to increase the capability and technology of their defense industry.

Now it is being reported that Brazil will delay a final decision on this contract until early next year. The decision is related to how much investment each company is willing to make and whether Brazil will be able to use their technology in future aircraft construction. Because the contract is so important especially to Dassualt and SAAB the amount of technology transferred may be high.

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Mahindra Satyam And SAAB To Collaborate On Indian Military Programs

The Indian IT company Mahindra Satyam has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with SAAB to establish a working relationship in India. The agreement means that Satyam will help SAAB develop and market products in India and perhaps to customers outside of that South Asian country. India has recently been looking at changing their laws in order to allow more of these kind of deals.

The first program the two companies will work on will be a Battle Management System (BMS) for India’s ground forces. This will be a SAAB developed and previously deployed system. Satyam will aid in any required changes and provide support to the product. The two companies have set up a joint Center to help market their products and help develop new ones.

This MOU also allows easier penetration of the Indian military and market as the assistance of a domestic company allows more flexibility in the awarding of contracts and work. India and its companies will gain by being exposed to products and the abilities they gain by developing systems and deploying them.

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