Within the next month, the Indian Air Force (IAF) will re-release a request for proposal (RFP) for nine aircraft to perform signals intelligence (Sigint), communications jamming (Comjam), ground survey and target towing roles. The previous RFP released four years ago shortlisted Embraer and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), both offering the IAI-Elta airborne integrated signal intelligence system (Aisis). But delays in defining India’s offset policy resulted in price escalation from the bidders, leading the Indian defense ministry to cancel that RFP.
Saab Sensis and LFV, Sweden’s air navigation services provider (ANSP), are working toward certification of a “remote tower” (r-TWR) concept next year meant to allow air traffic controllers to manage aircraft operations at small and regional airports from a distance using cameras and other sensors. Authorities in Australia and Norway have begun testing the technology as well.
ExecuJet Africa’s maintenance division has signed a Saab 340 aircraft service center agreement with defense and security company Saab. ExecuJet Maintenance South Africa holds SACAA and EASA Part 145 approval as well as most Southern Africa CAA approvals. The company specializes in maintenance service for most turboprops and business jets. The MRO is an approved Bombardier, Hawker Beechcraft, Dassault Falcon and Gulfstream facility and offers 24-hour maintenance service.
The concept isn’t new. In fact, one could call it a logical extension of development work that originated with Saab in Sweden in the mid-2000s, which showed the economic potential of datalinking various sensors at an unmanned airport to controllers at a distant air traffic monitoring and control center. Such a center could handle a number of small airports that had relatively few arrivals and departures but that still needed personnel to maintain a monitoring watch.
The U.S. Department of Commerce is organizing an industry vendors group to identify and advance export opportunities for Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) products made in the U.S. The NextGen Vendors Group (NVG) initiative was announced at the annual meeting of the NextGen Institute in Washington earlier this month.
Saab will strengthen its air-traffic-management (ATM) business, adding to its portfolio a ground surveillance system deployed at major U.S. airports, with the planned acquisition of Sensis Corp., of Syracuse, N.Y. The Swedish defense and security group is to acquire Sensis for $155 million, with another $40 million based on winning future contracts and meeting profitability goals.
Saab has signed an eight-year contract with Scandinavian Air Ambulance to maintain the group’s seven helicopters and eight fixed-wing aircraft. Scandinavian Air Ambulance’s bases are located in Sweden and Finland. Saab estimates the agreement will generate approximately $7 million in annual revenues.
Last month Saab announced a partnership with Ultra Electronics’ UK-based Communication and Integrated Systems division covering the joint exploration and exploitation of the market for vertical takeoff and land unmanned aerial vehicle systems (VTUAS). Earlier, in May, Saab announced another partnership with Swiss UAV, which added the Neo and Koax vehicles to create a VTUAS family along with the Saab-developed Skeldar.
Avionics display provider Barco last month announced the details of an agreement with Saab of Sweden to produce a head-up display for light airplanes and helicopters that replaces traditional overhead HUD technology using a simpler video-camera setup controlled by special software.
All 125 turboprops in Saab Aircraft Leasing (SAL)’s portfolio had found homes by the end of last year, leaving the company with not one of its aircraft available for lease or purchase. SAL executed 17 aircraft transactions during a period of limited availability.