skip to main content

Saab proposes industrial co-operation as part of Colombian Gripen offer

Gripen versus primary competing platforms. (Janes)

The Colombian Air Force (Fuerza Aérea Colombiana: FAC) is again working towards replacing its fleet of Kfir fighter aircraft, after postponing the final selection of a new fighter in December 2022 owing to bureaucratic and time constraints, and Saab is working to garner favour for its JAS 39 Gripen via industrial co-operation.

The FAC began searching for a Kfir replacement about a decade ago and has explored offers for Dassault Rafales, MiG-35s, Eurofighter Typhoons, Lockheed Martin F-16s, and Gripens.

Mikael Franzén, Saab's head of Marketing and Sales for Aeronautics, told Janes that aside from the Gripen (C/D or E/F) fighters, the company has proposed establishing partnerships and manufacturing capabilities within the country.

Saab has engaged in discussions with Colombian state companies such as CIAC (Corporación de la Industria Aeronáutica Colombiana), Indumil, and Codaltec, exploring avenues for establishing an innovation hub. The company also aims to initiate joint research projects and introduce an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in partnership with the Colombian industry.

Offset agreements in defence contracts typically revolve around fleet maintenance and sustainability, but Franzén said Saab's idea would be to go further and establish an aerospace industrial base in Colombia.

“We always try to understand the companies we work with, their vision, and how they can develop because if you try to do something different, it won't work. We will try to do development work; we will also try something similar to what was done with Brazil, where we will bring Colombians to Sweden to train them at Saab,” Franzén said.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...