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Saab awards major Gripen contract to Switzerland

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Gripen multi-role fighter aircraft. Photo: Saab.

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN (BNS): Saab awards Ruag in Emmen LU a contract worth 68 million francs for the development and production of pylons for Gripen E. 15.5 million francs of this contract are effective immediately.

Ruag has agreed to fulfil a fifth of the contract in collaboration with small and medium size subcontractors from the French and Italian speaking regions of Switzerland, as per the company news release.

The pylons are important and significant structural parts of Gripen E and act as mounts for weapons, reconnaissance pods and external fuel tanks. They have been ordered to feature in the 22 Gripen E for Switzerland and 60 Gripen E for Sweden.

"The pylons are high-tech products. They need to be - just like Gripen itself - aerodynamically designed and have to withstand extreme loads. They also contain electronic and mechanical parts, such as a release mechanism," said Henry Johansson, responsible for Saab's industrial cooperation programme.

The order to Ruag comprises four work packages. Three of them, valued at 15.5 million Swiss Francs are effective immediately. They include the design of pylons, the development of these pylons to serial production as well as manufacturing of prototypes for the three Gripen E test aircraft that will fly before serialisation of Gripen E, the release added.

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