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FARNBOROUGH: Saab still hopeful of Brazilian fighter contest win

Saab is waiting on the outcome of the Brazilian air force's F-X2 fighter contest, but still believes it has the best product, says chief executive Ake Svensson.

"I think it is up to president Lula [Luiiz Ignacio Lula da Silva] to decide which way he wants to go. But Gripen was number one in the air force evaluation, and we believe we are strongly competitive on price and industrial opportunities."

Svensson says Saab's domestic support places its Gripen NG in a strong position for requirements in Brazil, India and numerous other countries around the world. "The Swedish government has clearly stated its willingness to continue to invest in the Gripen, and is looking for international partners to work with."

The company's Gripen NG demonstrator is on static display at the show, having previously conducted an operational evaluation in India. "Our system has been extremely reliable," says Svensson.

 © Craig Hoyle/Flightglobal

Saab will deliver its first of six Gripen C/Ds to export customer Thailand late this year, and is hopeful of securing follow-on orders with the nation.

Separately, the company is now ready to make the early delivery of two upgraded ex-Swedish air force Saab 340 airborne early warning and control system aircraft to the United Arab Emirates.

Svensson is making his last visit to Farnborough as the boss of Saab. He will be leaving his post as chief executive on 1 September, after 35 years at the company. "It's been a fantastic journey," he says.

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