Gripen in India: More than An Assembly Line
Saab’s Make in India proposal is a lot more than just transferring assembly lines to India. Besides tangible manufacturing and production processes, the Gripen offer also focuses extensively on establishing the world’s most modern fighter aircraft manufacturing capability in India. This will be achieved mainly through Technology and Capability Transfer that Saab has offered to other countries in the past, and now to India.
“What we propose is not just to set up and transfer an assembly line in India. We are offering to create an entire ecosystem for the country to increase its self-sufficiency in terms of production, maintenance, and upgrade of the Gripen system for years to come. We have been doing our industry evaluation for a while now. And we have met several Indian companies which we think can be the perfect partners in the industrial system needed for Gripen in India,” says Mats Palmberg, Vice President, Industrial Partnerships, Saab, and head of Gripen India campaign.
An example of Saab’s successful technology transfer is Brazil where the Swedish Defence & Security company has to supply 36 Gripen fighters. In collaboration with Brazilian partners like Akaer and Embraer, Saab is driving the development of not just Gripen but also that of related system, support and equipment. So far, more than 200 Brazilian professionals have already been trained on Gripen development and manufacturing in Sweden. A complete aircraft assembly for Gripen fighters will begin its operations in Brazil next year.
Like Brazil, Saab’s offer to India also includes the training of Indian pilots and engineers in Sweden.
“We believe our offer is future proof and the best choice for an independent and a self-reliant India. Our proposal keeps in mind that India should not look abroad for technology in the future,” Mats adds.
Earlier last year, Saab had signed Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with three of India’s leading aerospace manufacturers – Dynamatic Technologies Limited, CIM Tools Private Limited, and Sansera Engineering Limited, further strengthening its Make in India offer.
Saab is currently in the fray for a contract to supply 114 fighters to India under the Multi Role Fighter (MRFA) programme whereof 96 will be manufactured locally in India.