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Saab buys into Brazilian company

May 9, 2012 at 5:25 PM   |   Comments

LINKOPING, Sweden, May 9 (UPI) -- Sweden's premier defense and security company, Saab, is strengthening its relationship with a Brazilian integrator of aero-structures.

Saab, that maker of the Gripen jet fighter that has partnered in the past with the company Akaer, said it is now financially investing in the company.

The investment is equivalent to a 15 percent stake in Akaer, whose advisory board will now include the Swedish company.

"Akaer and Saab share aero-structural synergies and together we can meet the demands in aero-structures assemblies to the aerospace industry. I am certain our partnership will guarantee both quality and long-term business," said Cesar da Silva, Akaer's chief executive officer.

Akaer is an engineering company that specializes in the development of aero-structures and management of turnkey aerospace and defense projects. In 2009, Saab contracted it to design components for its Gripen fighter, a lightweight, single-engine fighter jet flown by six countries. Akaer's work on the Gripen focused on the aircraft's rear fuselage, mid- fuselage and wing, including main landing gear doors.

Engineers from Akaer were sent to Sweden for on-the-job training. In 2010, Akaer facilities in Brazil were prepared and certified for work related to the Gripen.

Saab said its investment in Akaer is an important step toward further future design, development and production of the fighter in Brazil as well as enhancing Saab's participation in various Brazilian aerospace and defense programs.

"Brazil is an important and growing market for Saab, and with this growing partnership with Brazilian industry, Saab can together deliver key next generation technical and military capabilities providing for national autonomy in future design, development and operation," said Saab Senior Vice President Dan Jangblad.

"Akaer has achieved outstanding progress in aeronautical engineering and commercial achievements in a highly competitive industry. Together we can further explore business possibilities both in Brazil and internationally.

"Our cooperation will also be strengthened by meeting technical and commercial objectives from the Gripen NG project related to current work packages."

Although Saab will be part of Akaer's advisory board, Akaer said it will remain an independent entity. It will continue to be controlled and managed by its founder and current management team.

Akaer has been in operation since 1992.

Brazil is considering a next-generation fighter for its armed forces and Saab is pushing the Gripen. As part of its expanding footprint in the country and region, it recently strengthened its partnership with AEL Sistemas for development, production and logistical support of Gripen avionics.

It has also started an online collaboration venture with the Swedish Brazilian Innovation & Research Center to help prepare proposals for Brazilian government projects.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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