Gripen Fighter School in S.Africa a ‘missed opportunity’

Gripen Fighter School in S.Africa a ‘missed opportunity’

The fact that Saab’s Gripen Fighter Weapon School will most likely be located in a foreign country is a missed opportunity for South Africa, according to Saab.

Magnus Lewis-Olsson, President of Saab South Africa, told defenceWeb at the Land Forces Africa conference Pretoria yesterday the School was planned to be housed at Air Force Base Overberg in the Western Cape. However, the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has not supported this initiative.

Lewis-Olsson did not comment on why the SANDF has not agreed to host the School, and said Saab is looking elsewhere in the world. He said Saab had completed its syllabus and was ready to begin construction of the School and start training. “Other countries are interested in the School,” he said, with countries like Thailand being good potential hosts.

South Africa is a great location and it would have been a win-win situation to have the School in the Western Cape, as South African pilots would have benefitted, the Saab South Africa President said, adding that if the academy had gone ahead, it would have been a great opportunity to showcase South Africa’s capabilities.

“We are not going to kick up a fuss about this,” Lewis-Olsson said referring to SANDF reluctance to partner with Saab on the academy. “It is a missed opportunity for Saab and South Africa.”

In July last year Saab announced at the Farnborough Air Show that it would establish the School in South Africa, but shortly afterwards the SANDF denied the whole affair.

Saab had planned to run the first course with at least six students in late 2013 using between four and six South African Air Force (SAAF) Gripen C/D fighters.

A 1 000 square metres building at AFB Overberg would have been dedicated to the school and would have included briefing and debriefing rooms, a lecture hall, lunchroom, locker rooms, a gym and sauna, offices and IT infrastructure. South African and Swedish Air Force instructors would have conducted the course, Saab said.

Source: Written by Guy Martin, Defence Web News - 17 July 2013

Photo: The South African Air Force (SAAF) JAS-39D Gripen Fighter Aircraft 01 and 02 following delivery in June 2008. (Photo by Gripen International/Frans Dely)



American Air Force News
African Air Force News
Asian Air Force News
European Air Force News
Middle Eastern AF News
Ocean Air Force News

• Egyptian Air Force (EAF) MiG-29M crashed

On 3 November, a Russian-made MiG-29 multirole fighter crashed during a training mission in Egypt....>>

• Russia to Deliver 10 Su-30 Fighters to Nigeria in 2018

Russia intends to deliever 10 Su-30 multirole fighter aircraft by next year....>>

• Nigeria to buy first three JF-17 Thunder fighter jets

Nigeria’s military has inked an agreement with Chengdu Aerospace Corporation and Pakistan Aeronautical Complex to purchase JF-17 Thunder fighter jets....>>

• Ramaphosa's plane makes emergency landing

A South African Air Force aircraft transporting Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa from Kruger National Park to Waterkloof Air Force Base in Pretoria yesterday had to make an emergen...>>

• Libyan National Army Air Force "airstrikes"

Libyan National Army Air Force launched new airstrikes with MiG-21MF serial number "18" equipped with two S-8 rocket launchers and MiG-21UM loaded with two unguided bombs....>>

• Botswana Police Orders Three AS-350B3e From Airbus

Botswana’s Police Service today signed for a contract for three new AS-350B3e Ecureuil Airbus Helicopters aircraft for its Police Air Support Branch....>>

• U.S. - African Partnership Flight Angola 2014 concludes

African Partnership Flight Angola 2014 came to a close March 28 after a full week of events including Airmen from the Angolan, U.S. and Zambian air forces....>>


       info@xairforces.net Webmaster: REFLX DESIGN - © 2011 xairforces / Aviation Society,