Swedish aerospace giant Saab has been awarded a contract to provide maintenance support for the South African Air Force’s Gripen fighter aircraft.
The agreement covers component repairs and minor updates to ensure that the Gripens can continue supporting various missions.
According to company business unit head Åsa Schöllin, the contract reflects South Africa’s trust in Saab’s ability to support global customers’ operational needs.
“I am very happy and satisfied that we have now reached an agreement for a new support contract,” she said.
The African nation has been operating Gripens since 2008, Saab’s first export customer for the multi-role light fighter aircraft.
The support contract will run for three years, from 2022 until 2025.
Gripen Fighter Aircraft
First flown in 1988, Saab’s Gripen multi-role fighter aircraft is equipped with intelligent technology to counter evolving threats.
It reportedly requires minimal personnel and ground support and can land or take off on small runways.
The fighter can also fly up to 2,470 kilometers (1,534 miles) per hour and has a maximum take-off weight of 14,000 kilograms (30,864 pounds).
The Gripen carries various missiles and is fitted with a 27mm Mauser high-energy gun that can operate in automatic radar-guided aiming mode.
“Gripen C-series is the most reliable swing-role combat aircraft available in the world today,” Saab stated on its website.
“Over 150 million people in five countries on three continents rely on Gripen C-series to protect their sovereign air space and ensuring their independence.”