The latest offer by Saab to Canada under the Future Fighter Capability Project focuses on strengthening the country’s aerospace sector while providing an opportunity to boost economic benefits.
The offer involves establishing two new Aerospace Centers in the Greater Montreal Region as part of the unparalleled Industrial and Technological Benefits package that includes Canadian partners and companies to create long-term sustainable and high-skilled employment opportunities.
“These centers will help support a resurgent aerospace sector, building on its domestic excellence, while spurring development in new areas of research and giving the next generation of talented Canadians a career route and future,” says Micael Johansson, Saab’s President and CEO during the announcement at the Aero Montreal Innovation Forum.
The first center will be the “Gripen Center,” and will be managed by Canadians. The Gripen Center will host the fighter mission system that involves conducting domestic research and development (R&D) for the system and performing technological upgrades. These capabilities will also meet Canada’s domestic, NORAD and NATO obligations. The center will be responsible for the sustainment of Gripen and its systems, including fleet management, repairs and modifications.
Aerospace Research And Development Center
The second center will be established as an “Aerospace R&D Center” and will handle the development, test and production of the next generation fighter systems to enhance Canada’s existing aerospace industry. These will be carried out by Saab along with Canadian engineers, scientists, academia, and government organizations.
“We recognise that selecting Canada’s future fighter is a vital decision that needs to support not just the nation’s NORAD and NATO commitments, but also value national sovereignty and autonomy,” Micael Johansson says.
The Royal Canadian Air Force is looking to buy 88 advanced fighters as part of its Future Fighter Capability Program to replace its ageing fleet of Boeing CF-18 Hornets. Saab’s long-term capability vision for Canada is perfect for the country’s need for both R&D centers for aerospace innovation and industrial capacity that supports the latest technology.
The hosting of the fighter mission system includes the ability to conduct domestic research and development for the system, along with the opportunity to perform technology upgrades in order to respond to ever-evolving threats. These capabilities will provide Canada with a fighter mission system that is not only built in Canada but can meet Canada’s domestic, NORAD and NATO obligations. In addition, the Gripen Center will also play a key role in the coordination of the sustainment of Gripen and its associated systems, including upgrades, fleet management, repairs and modifications.
The second center to be established is the “Aerospace R&D Center” which will be co-located with the Gripen Center and be focused on developing a rich ecosystem for research and innovation, representing a key component of Saab’s long-term vision in Canada. The Aerospace R&D Center will support the development, test and production of the next generation aerospace systems and components to complement the existing Canadian aerospace industry. Areas of research could include unmanned aerial systems, Artificial Intelligence and environmentally friendly aviation technologies. These initiatives will be conducted with Canadian engineers, scientists, academia and government organisations within an innovative and collaborative environment. Sweden and Canada are a perfect match in these and in other areas. In time, new areas of research will arise that will provide further opportunities to industrialise valuable research in Canada with an eye to global export markets.
Together these two centers will effectively create an advanced aerospace micro-cluster within the greater Montreal area for advanced co-development. With this, Saab will contribute to the competiveness and expansion of the Canadian aerospace and defence industry, and sustain and add talented women and men employed in Canada. Overall, this will provide Canada with a Gripen fighter managed and controlled by Canadians, that will be secured under a proven Saab’s technology and knowledge transfer program to Canada that is unmatched by anyone.
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