Thales Norway to co-operate in Gripen development
Thales Norway A/S and Saab of Sweden have signed a contract concerning the development of communications systems for the Gripen fighter. This order for the Norwegian company is the first to be awarded under the provisions of the Letter of Agreement signed by the Norwegian Department of Defence and Gripen International on 26 April this year.
“The communications systems that will be developed by Thales are a central and vital part of Gripen´s systems. This deal means that Saab will get access to the latest Norwegian state-of-the-art technology and in return, Norway and Norwegian companies will be able to obtain first-hand knowledge about the Gripen new generation fighter and its systems. This is good for Norway, Gripen and Sweden” says Hans Rosén, Marketing Director, Norway at Gripen International.
Under the terms of the contract Thales Norway will for the next two years develop Gripen systems capability in the areas of satellite communications and broadband technology. These are functions which are used for transferring data between airborne aircraft and ground-based command and control systems.
“Thales Norway is very positive about this co-operation agreement with Saab, which enables us to build on our extensive capability in defence communication systems. This will also bring new capabilities to a modern fighter aircraft like the Gripen and create a good platform for further industrial co-operation between the companies”, says Glenn Pedersen, managing director at Thales Norway.
This is yet another example of how Saab’s extensive international industrial co-operation programmes, in partnership with some of the world’s leading aerospace companies, is securing the long-term future of the Gripen fighter. This includes the announcement made at the Paris Air Show of the Gripen Demonstrator programme (Gripen Demo), regarding the development of a new Gripen test flying platform - Gripen Demo - and Gripen Avionics Rig, which will keep Gripen at the leading edge well beyond 2040.
The Letter of Agreement signed by the Norwegian authorities and Saab subsidiary Gripen International earlier this year, will enable Norwegian companies to be closely involved in advanced development work in a range of high technology areas. These include composites, communication systems, studies and integration work for Norwegian weapon systems, ammunition, logistics and data systems. The total value of this activity is some NOK 150 million ($US 25 million) for a period of
two years, with the option to further extend the agreement. At this time, Norwegian companies will take part in increased industrial co-operation directly connected to the future development of the Gripen.
Gripen is designed to meet the demands of current and future threats, while at the same time meeting strict requirements for flexibility, flight safety, reliability, training efficiency and low operating costs. Gripen is in service with the Swedish, Hungarian and Czech Republic Air Forces and has also been ordered by the South African Air Force. The UK Empire Test Pilots´ School (ETPS) is operating Gripen as its advanced fast jet platform for test pilots worldwide.