In its response to the Netherlands' request for proposals for a Lockheed Martin F-16 replacement, Saab claims that choosing the Gripen NG (Next Generation) could save the nation up to €6 billion ($8.8 billion) over the life of the programme, partly due to the design's lighter weight and lower fuel consumption than the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
Saab answered about 85% of the 250 questions posed by the Dutch defence ministry, with one of the causes of its failure to complete the process stemming from a need to secure US government approval to publicly release some information: a process which takes a minimum of 90 days.
Bob Kemp, sales and marketing senior vice-president for Saab-led Gripen International, says that by allowing the company additional time to answer the outstanding questions the Dutch government can show that there still is a fair battle to win the order, which at €5.7 billion will be the largest defence purchase in the nation's history. A formal decision on the F-16 replacement will be made during 2010.
Source: Flight International