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Saab, Pilatus agree to collaborate on trainer aircraft

Aircraft manufacturers Saab and Pilatus to collaborate if/when the Swedish Air Force decides to acquire new pilot training aircraft.
By Richard Tomkins   |   March 28, 2014 at 12:16 PM   |   Comments

March 28 (UPI) -- Swedish and Swiss defense companies have agreed to collaborate on a new trainer aircraft if the Swedish Air Force decides to replace its SK 60 planes.

The companies -- Saab of Sweden and Switzerland’s Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. -- signed their memorandum of understanding on Friday in Bern, Switzerland.

“We are very pleased to be working closer with Pilatus and look forward to exploring other business opportunities in Switzerland,” said Saab President and Chief Executive Officer Hakan Buskhe. “This is a result of a long dialogue that began with the selection of the Gripen E (fighter) in Switzerland. It truly shows that there are extended business opportunities that can result from the Gripen decision.”

The SK 60 is the Swedish Air Force designation for Saab’s 105 jet trainer aircraft, which was developed in the early 1960s. Saab has a full turnkey contract with Swedish Defense Materiel Administration for the air force’s SK 60s.

“Saab’s SK 60 has helped train generations of Swedish Air Force pilots and we are pleased to enter into a MoU with Pilatus, to proactively explore its replacement with the PC-21, a highly capable and affordable training platform for pilots,” said Lennart Sindahl, executive vice president and head of Aeronautics at Saab.

Pilatus’ PC-21 is a single-engine turboprop trainer in service with five countries.

Additional details on the possible collaboration between the two companies were not disclosed.

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