Saab has announced the creation of a new Future Combat Air Systems (FCAS) centre in the UK as a hub for its participation in the FCAS program, as progress on the sixth-generation fighter program continues to gather pace.
This announcement comes shortly after the governments of Sweden and the UK signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) regarding co-operation on FCAS – as part of Team Tempest.
Saab views the agreement as a starting point for exploring the opportunity for joint development of a future combat air system, which will also read across into the continued long-term development of existing platforms including Gripen.
Leading up to the MoU signing, Saab has worked with British industry partners, BAE Systems, Leonardo UK, MBDA and Rolls-Royce on a feasibility study on FCAS, which concluded that identified synergies between the companies would provide a solid foundation for the further development of the required industrial and technology base.
Micael Johansson, president and CEO of Saab, said, "Combat Air is a key component of Sweden’s defence policy and it is defined as a national security interest. Saab’s FCAS strategy ensures that the technology is in place to support a long-term future air capability and also to support continuous upgrades of Gripen E for decades to come."
Saab will contribute with its experience of advanced technology development, system integration of complete combat air systems and related areas including sensors, missile systems and support.
Further supporting the development program, Saab has announced its intent to create a new FCAS centre in the UK as a hub for its participation in the program. Saab said it is committed to building a long-term relationship with the UK related to FCAS by investing initially £50 million.
Johansson added, "Saab took the decision to create a new FCAS centre so that we can further develop the close working relationship with the other FCAS industrial partners and the UK Ministry of Defence. This emphasises the importance of both FCAS and the United Kingdom to Saab’s future."
The location of Saab’s FCAS centre is currently being considered. The centre forms part of Saab’s long-term plans for the UK market to develop indigenous capabilities, invest in research and development and grow intellectual property.
Saab is developing the next-generation fighter Gripen E/F, and is committed to do so in close partnership with its strategic partners, the Swedish and Brazilian Air Forces, as well as with other existing and new Gripen customers, to ensure that Gripen evolves to meet emerging operational requirements for decades to come.
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Technology development through the Swedish-UK collaboration, and the sharing of knowledge and expertise across industry, will provide additional benefits to the long-term sustainment and development of existing platforms and systems including Gripen, as well as the potential for a joint FCAS program that will meet the requirements of the UK and Sweden, as well as the international market.