5 November 2009
Gripen of the RTAF (photo : Saab)
Defence and security company Saab and the Thai company Avia Satcom Co., Ltd., will form a joint venture, Avia Saab Technologies Company Ltd. The new company will develop high technology products within the aviation and defence areas.
Avia Saab Technologies will initially focus on the development of a NationalTactical Datalink in the Gripen fighter which is being ordered by the Royal Thai Air Force.
'The joint venture will offer locally developed products for the Thai Armed Forces and the export market. It will also bring investments and leading edge technology to Thailand, and create highly advanced job opportunities for Thai professionals', says Mr Kaj Rosander, Saab's Campaign Director for Gripen in Thailand.
'This is really special for Thailand. Firstly, because the technology transferred must be further developed before it can be incorporated to the product. This definitely calls for high-technological competent employees workers which Thailand has and in the course of time the skill levels will be even higher. On the other hand, this will provide confidence for other investors to invest in Thailand seeing that Thailand has the know-how and capability. Secondly, the investment will help reducing import as it is high value product and dependence on other nations', says Mr. Kajohnsak Watanangura, Avia Satcom manager responsible for joint venture programme.
Among future prospects besides the Tactical Datalink, are Command & Control Systems, Simulators, Training, Mission Support Systems, Electronic Warfare Systems, Upgrade Programs and Logistic Support.
Avia Saab Technologies will be established during 2009 and based in Bangkok, Thailand.
Thailand ordered six Gripen fighters and one Saab 340 Erieye for Airborne Early Warning and Control from the Swedish Government in 2008. Deliveries will begin in 2011.
(Asian Military Review)