Tim Ripley

British Aerospace and Saab expect a joint bid to offer Gripen fighters to South Africa to go ahead despite a US government ban on the export of the aircraft's American-designed engines.

A BAe spokesman says the companies have "absolute confidence" that the problem can be worked through.

He describes the ban as a "procedural" issue.


The US State Department issued the ban because of breaches of arms export regulations by the old apartheid South African regime.

It is expected to be lifted after the forthcoming visit to the country by US Vice-President Al Gore, which will open the way again for the Gripen.

"We remain convinced the issue will be resolved and do not expect it to have a detrimental effect on our ability to take the Gripen to South Africa," says the spokesman.

Source: Flight Daily News