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Saab to upgrade Gripen's reconnaissance system

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The Gripen fighter aircraft.

STOCKHOLM (BNS): Sweden's Saab Group has got a $55 million contract from the Defence Material Administration to develop reconnaissance system for the Swedish Air Force's Gripen fighters.

The new contract is in addition to a previous $280 million contract awarded to the Saab last month to upgrade the Gripens by equipping them with new communication systems, advanced weapons and new improved radar systems with increased range.

The latest contract, spanning for a period of four years, entails development of night capacity and an improved user interface for the reconnaissance pod on the Gripen, Saab said.

The reconnaissance pod, called Modular Reconnaissance Pod System, will enable the aircraft to carry out photo-reconnaissance functions in both day and night conditions. It will increase the overall reconnaissance capability of the Gripen fighters, the company said.

Gripen is a multi-role fighter aircraft capable of carrying out a range of air-to-air and air-to-surface missions. It was inducted in the Swedish Air Force in 1997. The Air Force at present has a total of 204 such fighters in its arsenal.

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