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NEWS IN BRIEF

Europe (GDLS FPE)

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EUROPE

25 Aug 12. Saab welcomes the Swedish government’s announcement it has reached an agreement with Switzerland about the procurement of the next generation Gripen. Furthermore, they suggest that Sweden acquires 40-60 planes of the next generation Gripen. This is an important step in the development of the future Swedish defence. Gripen is a modern fighter jet system, which, through the use of the latest technology, can operate in advanced combat and recon missions. Gripen is designed to meet demands from existing and future threats as well as to keep low operational costs compared to its competitors. The announcement by the Swedish government is a preview of what the budget proposition, presented on 20 September, will contain. Later this year, the proposal will be negotiated in the Swedish parliament. Saab has presented the government with a tender for the next generation Gripen. There is not yet an agreement but Saab looks forward to the discussions, which will lead to a deal and an order for Gripen. Saab serves the global market with world-leading products, services and solutions ranging from military defence to civil security. Saab has operations and employees on all continents and constantly develops, adopts and improves new technology to meet customers’ changing needs. (Source: Yahoo!/BUSINESS WIRE)

10 Aug 12. EADS is cooperating with the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office which has launched a probe into suspected irregularities involving a Riyadh-based subsidiary of the Franco-German aircraft maker and defense contractor. The SFO is launching a criminal probe into allegations concerning the unit, called GPT Special Project Management Ltd, the U.K. agency said Thursday. A former employee raised allegations last May that GPT had bribed Saudi Arabian officials to secure a $3.3bn communications contract. Among the alleged bribes were cars, jewelry and briefcases of money paid through intermediaries, according to reports at the time citing the former employee. GPT is a unit of Paradigm Services Ltd, an EADS company specialized in military-grade satellite communications. (Source: glstrade.com/WSJ)

21 Aug 12. Switzerland is to press ahead with its controversial purchase of 22 Saab Gripen fighter jets despite a highly critical parliamentary report into the deal released on Aug. 21. The parliamentary security commission found that the “choice of jet made by the Federal Council carries the most risks: technically, commercially, financially and in respect of the delivery date”, Swiss news agency ATS reported. The members of the commission — appointed by the Swiss parliament’s National Council of representatives — nonetheless voted 16 to 9 against demanding that ministers put a halt to the deal. Defense minister Ueli Maurer, who is in charge of the dossier, said that negotiations with Sweden were “reaching their conclusion (and) will allow us to resolve any outstanding issues.” The purchase price — 3.126bn francs (2.6m euros, $3.25bn) — was guaranteed not to change, he said, adding that the Gripen “was the cheapest” option compared with the French Dassault Rafale and the EADS Eurofighter. (Source: Defense News)

21 Aug 12. The Ministry of Defence has revealed that contracts worth billions of pounds to build the next generation of Royal Navy frigates will not be awarded until after it is likely Scotland has voted in the referendum on independence. Specifications for 13 new Type 26 Frigates were unveiled by the MoD yesterday, but crucially officials said that the contracts will not be awarded until the middle of the decade – after the independence referendum expected in 2014. The MoD insisted the delay was normal but the announcement reinforced fears that Scotland risks missing out on the deals, putting 16,000 jobs and the shipbuilding industry north of the Border at risk. In talks with Scottish shipbuilding unio

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