Saab on Wednesday announced it has established a new development centre in Tampere, Finland, reports Talouselämä.
The Swedish defence and security company said it will invest roughly 50–70 million euros in developing the centre over the next five years and ultimately recruit roughly 100 employees to supplement the core group of 12 staff already employed at the centre.
The first unit established under the technology centre will contribute to the development of electronic warfare systems for fighter aircraft and land applications.
“Finland is a high-tech country and an important partner for Saab,” Håkan Buskhe, the chief executive officer of Saab, stated in a press release on Wednesday.
Anders Gardberg, the managing director of Saab Finland, added that the technology centre represents a natural continuation of the long-term research partnership forged with Aalto University in February, 2017. “We are now expanding the envelope from research to development of cutting-edge technology.”
Saab assured in a press conference that it complies with the arms export regulations of its host countries and the European Union. “We won’t be selling to the Russians even if they wanted us to,” Buskhe elaborated on Wednesday.
It also underscored that the establishment of the technology centre is in no ways related to the fighter jet fleet overhaul planned by Finland. The Finnish Air Force is expected to replace the last of its current F/A-18 Hornets by 2030.
One of the five replacement options presented to the Finnish Air Force is Gripen E, a fighter jet manufactured by Saab. Helsingin Sanomat writes that the more detailed invitations to tender will be sent to the countries and manufacturer representing the options during the course of this spring. The bids, in turn, are expected in early 2019.
“We naturally also recognise that the aircraft manufacturer selected for the […] project must be firmly committed to Finland,” said Marcus Wallenberg, the chairman of the board at Saab.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi