Saab Announces Partners For Gripen E Campaign In Canada

First flight with first Gripen E for Sweden

Swedish defense giant Saab Group has announced partners who will participate in its Gripen E campaign for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) requirement for 88 new fighters to replace legacy CF-18 Hornet aircraft.

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The Saab Group will team up with IMP Aerospace & Defence, CAE, Peraton Canada, and GE Aviation for “Gripen for Canada” campaign.

“Over the past two years, Saab and the Swedish Government have been encouraged by Canada’s open and transparent competition to replace its fighter fleet,” says Jonas Hjelm, head of aeronautics at Saab.

“Saab is committed to securing long-term relationships in Canada that will create a significant number of highly-skilled, sustainable jobs for Canadians within domestic and international supply chains.”

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IMP Aerospace & Defence will participate in indigenous production and support, CAE will provide training and “mission systems solutions,” and Peraton Canada MRO related support. GE Aviation, which produces the fighter’s F414 engine, “will provide and sustain the fighter’s engines in Canada.” The bid is supported by the Swedish government.

The IMP Group is part of a consortium bidding to put together and maintain 88 of Saab’s Gripen fighter jets at his company’s massive hangar near Halifax Stanfield International Airport to serve as Canada’s next wave of fighter jets. The $19-billion future fighter procurement program aims to replace the Royal Canadian Air Force’s existing fleet of CF-18 Hornets.

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IMP, which employs about 2,000 people in Nova Scotia, hasn’t worked out yet how many people it would need to add to its labour force here to assemble the fighter jets.

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“The Canadian Request for Proposal requires companies to deliver high-quality industrial and technological benefits, such as Saab has demonstrated with Gripen for Brazil and is offering for Finland and India’s fighter requirements,” adds the company.

The Airbus and Dassault Aviation’s withdrawal from the competition meaning Saab officially has two competitors for the deal: the Boeing F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet Block III and Lockheed Martin F-35A.

A contract award is expected in early 2022, with the first aircraft delivery potentially in 2025.

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