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Saab 105 upgrade to boost interoperability with Sweden's Gripen fleet

Saab has received a contract to perform a cockpit and systems upgrade to the Swedish air force's fleet of Saab 105 (Sk 60) jet trainers by late 2011.

Placed by Sweden's Defence Materiel Administration (FMV), the SKr130 million ($18.8 million) deal builds on an earlier agreement under which operations of the more than 40-year-old type will continue until mid-2017.

Saab Aerotech says the new package of work will provide Sweden's 105s with modern cockpit systems more compatible with the nation's Saab Gripen (JAS 39) fighters. This includes changing displayed information on altitude and speed from metres and kilometres to feet and knots, it says.

Other modifications to be performed include the installation of new GPS navigation equipment and "audible altitude and primary warning" systems, it adds.

© Kristian Hernström/Saab
Sweden expects to use its Saab 105s until mid-2017

Saab also late last year signed an estimated SKr900 million public-private partnership deal with the FMV to deliver operational support and maintenance services for Sweden's current fleet of more than 100 jet trainers.

Intended to improve availability of the 105, the initiative also extended the planned use of the type by two years to cover for the slow progress being made in launching the nine-nation Advanced European Jet Pilot Training, or Eurotraining system. This will deliver a pooled fleet of aircraft and ground-based training equipment for multinational use, with initial operational capability expected to be declared from around 2014.

The Swedish air force has an inventory of 106 Saab 105s, according to Flight's MiliCAS database.

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