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  3. > Saab AB: Can the Gripen NG fighter be an exporting success?

Introduction

Saab AB’s Gripen fighter has seen extensions with its contract for the Swedish Defense Materiel Administration (FMV) extended and upgrades from C/D models to E, extending to 2026. The next generation of Gripens is also performing well elsewhere, managing to secure a $4.5bn order from the Brazilian air force’s FX-2 program, beating Boeing and Dassault Aviation.

Features and benefits

* Analysis of the combat aircraft market, including a shift in trends and how manufacturers have had to respond.
* Evaluation of Saab's recent performances, and how its main product, the Gripen fighter, could compete against larger manufacturers.
* Analysis of the combat aircraft exporting market, and the problems The Gripen could face in the short and medium term future.

Highlights

The market structure sees many sellers pitted against single buyers. There is some differentiation between models available in cost, technology, and lifespan. Changes in threats have also shifted emphasis s to versatile, cost effective models. The market is further complicated by geopolitical considerations and declining demand.
Saab is active in the combat aircraft market through its JAS-39 Gripen line. The Gripen is significant to the company, with its aeronautics division accounting for 27% of sales in 2013. The new variant of the Gripen is designed for cost effectiveness and awareness, rather than unsurpassed aeronautical capabilities.
Exporting competition is fierce, and the Gripen has yet to compete against Lockheed Martin's F-35 in contract bidding. The F-35 already has several strategic partners in the form of the largest defense spenders globally, although support for the project is wavering as costs continue to grow.

Your key questions answered

* What are the main trends in the combat aircraft market?
* How well has Saab performed recently?
* How will Saab's new Gripen fighter appeal to governments?

Table Of Contents

Saab AB: Can the Gripen NG fighter be an exporting success?
OVERVIEW
Catalyst
Summary
THE STATE OF THE COMBAT AIRCRAFT MARKET
The fighter jet market structure
Fighter jet market is governed by geopolitical constraints
The benefits of indigenous aircraft production
Legacy of the Cold War
The current products: fourth, 4.5, and fifth generation aircraft
Change in warfare has seen European demand falter
The knock on effect of the European Union
Potential export markets
SAAB IN THE COMBAT AIRCRAFT MARKET
Saab's recent performance
Saab's aeronautics division is its largest
The Gripen fighter
The Gripen NG: more capabilities and more efficient costs
Saab's new modeling software keeps costs down
Customization allows for tailoring to modern warfare
The Gripen NG could compete with more expensive rivals in combat
Saab is willing to technology transfer with export partners
The Gripen has been buoyed by two new export orders
Gripen's win in the F-X2 contract shows it can compete with larger companies
Gripen's low operational costs may influence outcomes
Further export markets for the Gripen?
Gripen Naval model for those with deep sea capabilities
Gripen's naval model in Thailand
THE GRIPEN'S PROBLEMS
Fifth generation jets versus the Gripen
The F-22 Raptor unlikely to be a competitor
Lockheed Martin's F-35 could be a serious competitor
The F-35 has secured orders in many of the largest defense spenders
The F-35 beat the Gripen in Australia
The F-35 has been plagued by technical setbacks
2013 audit continues to find problems
Production model could cause problems if partners reconsider
Reductions in orders for Italy and Netherlands
Saab's Gripen could suffer similar setbacks
Why the Gripen could avoid F-35 delays
Difference in production model
Intense competition from rivals hinders further export drives
Drone evolution could make this the last Gripen fighter
Legality and ethics may postpone Gripen's lifeline
CONCLUSIONS
The Gripen is a fighter for the age of austerity
APPENDIX
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