Is defence the first step towards sustainable and resilient societies?
We think so.
By manufacturing world-leading defence products, we contribute to a more secure society.
Where everyday life can sometimes be dull. We have been an integral part of Sweden's ability to defend its borders for a very long time. How long? That depends a bit on how you count. The cannon production at Bofors, which is now a part of Saab, began in 1883. In Karlskrona, where Saab now manufactures ships, they have been producing ships since 1680.
But Saab itself was not founded until much later, in 1937. At that time, the world was anything but friendly. Germany, Italy, and Japan were rumbling with warlike intentions. The same was true for the Soviet Union. Saab was a product of the security situation, a way for Sweden to secure its existence. The purpose was clear: ensure that Sweden can produce its own fighter aircraft, tailored to our needs and serviceable with Swedish spare parts. All to build a world-class air force that could stand on its own - even in times of war.
And so, it happened. In almost no time at all, they developed and produced a fighter aircraft, Saab 17 (also known as B17), which became the backbone of the new Swedish Air Force. B17 was used as a dive-bomber and reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft. It was used in the Swedish Air Force until 1947 and was also exported to countries including Denmark, Ethiopia, and Finland.
After World War II, threats changed, and so did Saab. Already in 1949, the first Swedish jet plane, Saab 21R, was put into service by the Air Force. But Saab's contribution to the military defense is more than just airplanes and aviation technology. Many recognize product names like Carl-Gustaf, AT4, and NLAW, especially since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. They are produced by one of Saab's business areas, which was called Saab Bofors Dynamics until 2010. That's right: the same Bofors that started manufacturing cannons in the nineteenth century.
Today, Saab produces a wide range of products that contribute to the military defense of Sweden. Everything from the well-known fighter aircraft Gripen to the radar system Giraffe and the reconnaissance and command system GlobalEye, submarines and surface ships like the Gotland class and Visby class, to name a few. Saab is one of the few companies in the defense industry that develops products in all domains: air, space, land, sea, and cyber.
Saab was a product of the security situation, a way for Sweden to safeguard its existence.