Saab ready to submit new Gripen offer to Austria

Austrian Eurofighter T1 fighters are expensive to maintain and technically no longer up to date. Swedish aircraft manufacturer Saab aims for a government-to-government deal for Gripen.

Saab offer Gripen Austria
Saab Gripen D multirole combat aircraft.

Austria has long been considering getting rid of its 15 Eurofighter Typhoon Tranche 1 fighters as they are too expensive to maintain and do not include some essential capabilities such as the ability to operate at night and carry long-range weapons. Their updating and the procurement of spare parts is considered extremely expensive as key components are no longer produced for the first series aircraft.

Austria spends around € 65,000 per Eurofighter flight hour, with a possible increase over the next few years. While their update is expected to cost around 200 million euros.

This critical situation is working in favor of the Swedish aerospace company Saab which has been trying to put its Gripen aircraft in the nation for over 20 years. The company, which founded the Saab Aeronautics Austria GmbH subsidiary in Austria, is trying to create the right conditions to re-launch its fighter there. It also relies on the good industrial relationship between Sweden and Austria that has lasted for decades, mainly based on the long use of fighters made-in-Sweden by the Austrian Air Force, such as the Saab 105 and the Draken.

The Saab package includes twelve single-seat Gripen C aircraft and two two-seat Gripen D aircraft for pilot training. The Swedish firm is banking on the fact that Gripen could do more than Eurofighter Tranche 1, such as carrying out air-to-ground missions and operating at night.

This offer amounts to 900 million euros, with the cost per flight hour of 23,000 euros. This means that the nation would spend 105 million euros in 15 years, 50 million less than the operating cost of the current Eurofighter fleet.

However, the switch to Gripen is currently only a hypothesis, there are no concrete negotiations underway between the Austrian government and Saab, but it is not excluded that a deal may be finalized in the years to come.

Written by Darren Bondi
Source: Der Standard

No comments

All comments related to the contents of our articles are welcome. It is not allowed to post promotional messages, links to external sites, or references to activities not related to this blog.

Powered by Blogger.