J. Schackenborg Saab: "We are very interested in associating with local companies"
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J. Schackenborg Saab: "We are very interested in associating with local companies"

Joakim Schackenborg, head of CU Latin America South Cone. Photo: Saab.

The Saab group is widely known in the Latin American region, for decades its products, and those of its affiliated companies, have been present in the Latin American armed forces. Saab will be present at the 6th International Exhibition of Technology in Defense and Prevention of Natural Disasters (Sitdef 2017), to be held in Lima, between May 18 and 21, to show its most advanced technological developments in military matters and attention natural disasters. For details on the matter, Infofedensa.com, interviewed the responsible executive for the region of the head of CU Latin America South Cone, Joakim Schackenborg.

What new products will Saab present at Sitdef 2017?

At Sitdef 2017, booth #211, Saab will display its broad range of land, air and sea solutions for military defense, civil security and disaster relief. Visitors will enjoy the 1:8 scale Gripen model, and learn about the various systems for air defence, such as the RBS 70 NG; for surveillance, such as the Erieye AEW&C; and for naval combat, such as the TactiCall.

Which Latin American countries are at the core of Saab´s sales strategy?

The whole region is strategic for Saab. Apart from the important partnerships already established, we are very interested in associating with local companies in different countries, to develop solutions that strengthen the proven track record of solutions that matter to customers in Latin America. Saab's trusted and reliable products are backed by a unique mix of high technology, proven effectiveness and lower costs. This mix is very appealing and convenient for clients across the region.

Are you considering investment in other sectors besides defense and air traffic management?

We prefer not to speculate about future investments in other sectors. We are currently working on strengthening our presence in the region and positioning out broad portfolio of solutions for military defense and civil security. With that in mind, we are excited to be present at Sitdef 2017; it is a great opportunity to meet new potential clients and partners, and discuss new ideas and areas of cooperation based on our systems and solutions.

What will Brasil gain with this deal with Saab, apart from the Gripen?

Saab is absolutely committed with the technology transfer to Brazil and is working closely with our Brazilian partners. The aim with the ToT programme is to provide the Brazilian aerospace industry with the technology and knowledge needed to maintain and develop Gripen for Brazil. Between October 2015 and 2024, more than 350 professionals, engineers, operators, technicians and pilots from Saab's Brazilian partner companies and the Air Force in Brazil will go to Sweden to participate in courses and on-the-job training. Skills and knowledge will be gained by Brazilian industry, enabling extensive Gripen development and production work, including final assembly, in Brazil. As of today, about 150 Brazilian secondees have been in Sweden and started to return to, and work, in Brazil. The technology transfer programme is divided into 59 key projects, lasting up to 24 months.

In what moment is the project currently?

Additional to that, we inaugurated Gripen Design and Development Network (GDDN), in Gavião Peixoto, São Paulo in November 2016. The GDDN will be the hub for the Gripentechnology development in Brazil for Saab and Embraer, together with the Brazilian partner industries and institutions, AEL Sistemas, Atech, Akaer and the Brazilian Air Force,through its research department DCTA. On May 18th the first Gripen E, which is the Swedish configuration of the next generation Gripen, was unveiled at a roll-out ceremony in Sweden. Since then we have performed verification activities on the aircraft and started the ground test period. The work is progressing according to plan and we are on track when it comes to both the test aircraft and the delivery milestones we have in front of us. Gripen F is in development for delivery to the Brazilian customer and in the future, also for other customers. The development is performed together with the Brazilian partner industries, Embraer, AEL, Akaer and Atech and is progressing according to plan.

What other potential clients has Gripen in the region?

We see an increased interest in Gripen from all over the world, including several countries in Latin America. The Brazilian selection of Gripen validates it as the most capable and modern fighter system on the market. It solidifies Saab’s position as a world-leading fighter aircraft producer. With Brazil and the Brazilian industry as partners, the opportunity for further export success of Gripen has increased. The Colombian government searched for some companies of the worldwide defense market in order to know more about their aircrafts. Saab was also reached, but we prefer not speculate on possible future sales to other markets at the moment.

What special activities are scheduled at Sitdef 2017?

Besides presenting Saab’s broad portfolio for land, air and sea domains, during Sitdef, Saab’s senior sales director for Latin America, Stefan Behre will hold the following presentation, "Keep society safe: preparedness for protecting a territory and support the coordination in case of a disaster" and "Dual use: let technology development support society".


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