New Gripen to Cost At Least 10% Less Than Predecessor
Buyers of the new Gripen E/F will get a “double digit” percent price saving against the cost of the aircraft’s predecessor, the Gripen C/D, the CEO of Saab said on Tuesday.
Speaking at the Farnborough International Airshow, Hakan Buskhe said the new fighter will also offer a 25 percent increase in capabilities.
The price drop and capability hike was a Saab specialty, he said, since the Gripen C/D had cost less than its own predecessor, the Gripen A/B, while offering a 20 percent hike in capabilities.
Explaining the price drop, Buskhe said, “You do that with cars, why not with fighters?”
The Swedish government intends to buy 80 Gripen E/F aircraft, previously referred to as the Gripen NG by Saab. Switzerland has also downselected it for a possible purchase of 22 aircraft.
Buskhe linked Saab’s pricing policy to its need to compete globally, adding that only 20 percent of the firm’s order backlog was in Sweden. Saab employs 3,000 engineers outside Sweden, he added.
Saab is now setting up a Gripen weapons training school in South Africa, he said.
In an apparent reference to firms that can rely on generous procurements from home governments, Buskhe said, “It is not difficult to build something if you have a ton of money.” Saab, he added, expected to see a slight increase in sales in 2012 on 2011.
Bushke said Saab’s value-for-money principle affected its view of the European alliances now being mulled for the design of new UAVs. Italy and Germany have reacted angrily to Anglo-French plans to form a bilateral UAV alliance, which they plan to open up to other partners at a later date.
But Bushke appeared unruffled at the prospect of Sweden following an Anglo-French lead. “As long as the cooperation gives a high quality product which is affordable,” he said. “We don’t do endless discussions. In all other businesses you start by asking what the customer wants.”