One of the world’s best-known and recognized aerospace and defence companies was founded in neutral Sweden by merging Svenska Aero AB and ASJA in 1937. As a European war seemed inevitable at that time, the company’s most important task was to design, develop, and manufacture military aircraft. To this day, they are one of the most recognized and successful players in the field of producing fighter jets: their first jet, the Saab 21R, was commissioned by the Air Force in 1950, and the JAS-39E/F Gripen NG is one of the most modern and cost-effective 4+ generation fighter-bombers.
The company now offers integrated solutions in many areas of the defence industry. Only few manufacturers are able to market stand-alone airspace detection and surveillance radar systems: there are several aircraft types now fitted with Saab Erieye. But mention could be made of ground- or warship-mounted, multi-purpose radars, the Saab Skeldar remote-controlled reconnaissance helicopter, or, among the “more cutting-edge” devices, the RBS15 anti-ship missile or the RBS 70 short-range surface-to-air missile system. Special attention is paid to the field of cyber security, products for the protection of communication systems, or solutions to support law enforcement, and maritime and air traffic.
Since December 2007, the Hungarian Air Force has been operating 12 single-seat and 2 two-seat JAS-39EBS HU Gripens, the latter optimized for training in Kecskemét. In May 2015, the two-seater with side number 42 crashed in Čáslav (Czech Republic), and was replaced with a used JAS-39D (side number 44) on 1st July 2016.
Author: Trautmann Balázs (honvedelem.hu)