A Swedish aerospace and defense company “Saab” maker of multirole fighter aircraft JAS 39 Gripen is going to open an office in Manila by the end of 2016.
An official from the Swedish firm has just confirmed that the move is to support the company’s campaign to sell its JAS 39 Gripen fighter aircraft to the Philippine Air Force (PAF).
“The new “Saab” office would be the center of the company’s marketing activities in the country”. This is according to Carl-Erik Leek, Saab’s executive vice-president in the Asia-Pacific as he speaks on the opening day of the Asian Defense and Security 2016 (ADAS 2016) exhibition in Manila.
Moreover, the Swedish government has also announced in December 2015, its intention to open an embassy in Manila to support the defense firm in bilateral trade and investment and by November, both offices will soon be operational.
At present, these are undertaken from Saab’s regional headquarters in Thailand, although the company does not currently have a major presence, in terms of previous defence sales, in the Philippine market.
“Saab’s primary target in the Philippines is the PAF’s requirement – outlined in the service’s modernization programme, Flight Plan 2028 – for 12 multirole combat aircraft. “Saab can fulfill the PAF requirement for an affordable fighter aircraft,” said Leek, who is assigned to be the head of the new Saab office in Manila.
Also, read this: Philippines Next Fighter Jet, The Jas 39 Gripen
According to Leek, Saab is going to offer PAF a package of support systems, including ground infrastructure, an integrated command-and-control system, sensors, and data links, similar to the capabilities that Saab has supplied the Royal Thai Air Force, which procured 12 Gripen C/D aircraft ordered in two phases in 2008 and 2010, with deliveries completed in 2013.
Leek would like to target also the naval system requirements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), to offer and provide a full combat system management, radars, and air defense capabilities for Philippine Navy ships. -JCE.
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