In 2005, Saab acquired a major share in Grintek, a hi-tech communications, Electronic Counter Measures (ECM) and avionics business originally established to meet South Africa’s domestic requirements. Today, the majority of Saab Grintek’s turnover is derived from exports of South African systems and solutions in the Defence, Security, Disaster and Emergency Response sectors. In June 2008, Saab concluded a Black Economic Empowerment transaction with Imbani Amandaba, a 100% black-owned company whose members consist of investors from previously disadvantaged groups. The consortium has subscribed for 25% plus 1 share in Saab-Grintek Defence.
Transfer of skills and know-how
The transfer of technology and knowledge is an integral part of the Gripen Industrial Participation programme. In South Africa, Saab manages a skills and technology transfer contract with the state-owned Denel Aviation.
A two-part programme
Launched in two parts, the first saw Saab install a state-of-the-art Design & Development Centre at Denel Aviation, enabling the manufacturing of Gripen components and subassemblies for Saab.
The second part involved the secondment of Denel, Armscor and SA Air Force personnel on a rolling two-year Skills & Technology Transfer Programme (STTP) hosted by Saab in Sweden. During this period, they were familiarised with Gripen’s cutting edge technology, industrial processes and modern support systems. The knowledge and skills acquired through the STTP serve not only to support the personnel attending the programme, but also to flow into their ordinary work environment.