The Swedish aviation icon SAAB is celebrating its birthday on 2 April. In 1937 the company was founded after a decision by the Swedish parliament to have the country produce its own aircraft. Eighty years later the military aircraft made in Linköping are more popular then ever.
The newest combat aircraft made in Sweden is in service with five nations: Sweden, Hungary, the Czech Republic, South Africa and Thailand. Two more nations will be flying the JAS 39 Gripen soon: Brazil and Slovakia; with Brazilian Embraer will even to produce the new and larger E-version supported by Saab engineers and technology. While the plant in Linköping will manufacture 60 of the Gripen E for its own Flygvapnet.
We at Airheadsfly.com say “Stort grattis på födelsedagen” (Happy birthday) Saab with a photo essay.
The future for the Saab 105 in Swedish service looks bright, as Saab on Friday 16 October extended its support and maintenance agreement with Swedish defense organisation FMV for the SK60 trainer aircraft of the Swedish Armed Forces. The contract will be in place for three years starting on 1 July 2017. The order value amounts to 400 million SEK (42 million EUR).
Saab maintains full responsibility for Sweden’s fleet of SK60 aircraft by delivering all required flight operations, maintenance and the provision of stand-by capacity to the Armed Forces. Since December 2008 Saab has ensured that the SK60 system is fully airworthy and available at Swedish Air Force wings, in accordance with Swedish Armed Forces’ requirements. This latest agreement continues this key flight operations support function for Saab until 2020.
“The extended contract is a comprehensive undertaking whereby we ensure the complete readiness of the SK60 fleet. We provide guaranteed flight hours at a fixed cost, in what is known as a ‘power-by-the-hour’ agreement. The contract is a confirmation of our ability to deliver a complete support solution over a product’s entire lifecycle and it also guarantees availability for the customer,” says Jonas Hjelm, head of Saab’s business area Support and Services.
SK60 is the Swedish military designation for the Saab 105, a twin-engined jet aircraft which made its maiden flight in 1963. Since 1967 SK60s have served as the principal jet training aircraft for Swedish military pilots. The aircraft have been continually modernised and upgraded over their many years of service.
Austria also still operates Saab 105s. A feature story on those is found here.