Saab CEO ‘frustrated' at slow pace of Gripen sales

by Gareth Jennings

Seen in Finland where it lost out to the F-35, the Gripen has been effectively frozen out of the international export market since signing Brazil up to the Gripen E/F programme in 2014. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

Saab's president and CEO, Micael Johansson, has told reporters of his ‘extreme frustration' at the lack of recent sales of the company's Gripen combat aircraft.

Speaking to Janes and other defence media at the company's Stockholm headquarters on 26 August, Johansson conceded that the single-engined ‘Euro-canard' had struggled to meet the export expectations that his predecessors had laid out for the multirole fighter, saying that this was not a reflection on the quality of the aircraft, but was down to politics.

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Babcock awarded refit contract for second Vanguard-class SSBN

by Kate Tringham

The overhaul of HMS Victorious will allow the boat to carry out deterrent patrols until the next generation of SSBNs, the Dreadnought class, enters service. (Babcock)

Babcock has been awarded a contract by the UK Submarine Delivery Agency to carry out the non-refuelling deep maintenance and life-extension (LIFEX) programme for the UK Royal Navy's (RN's) second Vanguard-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN), HMS Victorious.

The full-cost recovery contract, worth an estimated GBP560 million (USD709.9 million), replaces an initial contract awarded in July 2023 to begin preparatory work on the submarine at Babcock's Devonport Royal Dockyard in Plymouth.

Victorious is the second of the RN's four Vanguard-class SSBNs to undergo a LIFEX package at Babcock's Devonport facility. The refits are intended to extend the service life of the submarines until the replacement Dreadnought-class SSBNs start entering service from the early 2030s.

According to Babcock, the programme of work on Victorious

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Saab begins construction of Carl-Gustaf manufacturing facility in India

by Kapil Kajal

The Carl-Gustaf M4 – pictured above – can be fired from the shoulder from the prone position with the soldier's body at an angle of at least 45° to the axis of the bore, or from a mount on an armoured personnel carrier. A heavy‐duty, detachable bipod is used when firing from the prone position. (ECDI)

Swedish defence company Saab has started the construction of a new Carl-Gustaf manufacturing facility in India, Saab said on 4 March.

Saab is building the new facility in Jhajjar, in India's northern state of Haryana, approximately 80 km from New Delhi, the company said.

The new facility – operated by Saab subsidiary company Saab FFVO India – will deploy technologies such as the sighting technology and carbon fibre winding to manufacture Carl-Gustaf M4 recoilless rifles for the Indian Armed Forces as well as components for users of the system around the world, Saab added.

Görgen Johansson, senior vice-president and head of Saab's business area dynamics, told Janes

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China increases 2024 defence budget by 7.2%

by Jon Grevatt & Andrew MacDonald

Janes Defence Budgets forecasts that real annual growth rates in China's total military expenditure, which includes the official defence budget, will fall below 4% before the end of the decade. (Janes)

The Chinese government has proposed a defence budget of CNY1.67 trillion (USD232 billion) for 2024, official state media has reported. The new expenditure represents a nominal year-on-year increase of 7.2%, the same rate of growth announced in 2023.

The new defence budget was submitted to the national legislature on 5 March and distributed to lawmakers at the opening of the second session of the 14th National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

State media said the proposed expenditure, if approved, would maintain single-digit growth in China's defence budget for the ninth consecutive year since 2016. China's official defence budget in 2023 was CNY1.55 trillion and in 2022 it was CNY1.45 trillion, a year-on-year increase of 7.1%. In 2021 the budget announced by Beijing was CNY1.35 trillion, an increase of 6.8%.

A spokesperson for the second session of the 14th NPC was quoted by the China Daily

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Saab's president and CEO, Micael Johansson, has told reporters of his ‘extreme frustration' at the l...

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