Saab comments on Norwegian evaluation

The Norwegian prime minister’s announcement on 20 November that Norway had chosen the American F35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) came as a surprise to Saab. The arguments put forward seemed to have very little, or no, establishment in the preceding procurement process. We did not recognize ourselves in the assessment of Gripen’s operational capacity or the description of its costs. It sounded like the description of another aircraft. The industrial co-operation we had promised to create, to a value of up to NOK 50 billion, seemed not to have been of any greater importance. Told by Saab CEO Åke Svensson and Head of corporate communications and public affairs Cecilia Schön Jansson in a press conference on 12/10/2008. The further comments are -

Saab fully respects Norway’s right to procure the aircraft representing its government’s preference. We have been in the industry long enough to know that these types of decisions contain several different considerations; they are sometimes to our advantage and sometimes not. However, Saab must clearly point out our view that the reasons publicly brought forward by the Norwegian government cannot rest on a thorough evaluation of the alternatives. The claim that Gripen does not fulfil Norway’s operational demands and that Gripen would prove essentially more expensive must, according to our view, rest on an incomplete, or even faulty, analysis. It is not only important for Saab that certain facts are clarified, it is equally important for existing and future procurers of Gripen as well as for our partners and shareholders.

Saab has conducted a thorough evaluation of the information communicated by the Norwegian government in relation to the decision. We hold that:
- claims that Gripen does not meet the Norwegian air force’s demand rests on simulations containing incomplete or non-existent capacity information
- the alleged life cycle cost does not rest on experience of the Gripen system but has been calculated by applying own assumptions and models of calculations.
- conditions underpinning the calculation are in parts radically altered and based on internal Norwegian assumptions.

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