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Saab and BAE SYSTEMS form Gripen joint venture, Gripen International

05 Sep 2001

The recent success of Gripen in the export market has demonstrated the potential of the BAE Systems and Saab joint approach to securing export sales for the aircraft. Significant market interest in the Gripen has resulted in campaigns in a number of countries. BAE Systems and Saab will be working closely together to secure and deliver export contracts for this excellent defence system for many years to come.

In order to maximise the return from marketing investment, and to ensure effective co-ordination of activities through contract delivery, the two companies have decided to strengthen their export alliance by enhancing their Joint Venture company, Gripen International. The company will be registered in Sweden, populated by staff from both shareholders, and co-located in offices both in Sweden and the UK, thereby combining the strength of the two companies in the support of Gripen export.

The new company was formed on 3 September this year. The resources of Gripen International will report through its managing director to a joint board and are equally owned by the two shareholders.

Ian McNamee has been appointed Managing Director of Gripen International, and Kjell Mller as Deputy Managing Director. Ian was formerly the Managing Director of Thomson Marconi Sonar Limited. Kjell was previously Head of Marketing within Saab Aerospace and led Saab's contribution to the South African and other Gripen campaigns.

"This is an important step to focus the activities for the Gripen export as we now create a single prime contract management structure and it confirms our strong commitment to meet all demands from the market," states Ian McNamee, the newly appointed Managing Director of Gripen International.

The establishment of Gripen International comes at a time when the Swedish Airforce is preparing for engagement of Gripen in international peace support operations. "This will further strengthen our market position as it combines the export requirements with the Swedish needs for international interoperability," concludes Kjell Mller, the new Deputy Managing Director of the joint venture company.

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