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Saab Wins 2.2 Billion-Kronor Thai Order for Gripen Warplanes

Nov. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Saab AB said it received an order for six Gripen fighter planes worth 2.2 billion kronor ($316 million) from the Royal Thai Air Force.

The order is part of broader sale by the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration of a Saab-made air-defense system to Thailand, the Linkoeping, Sweden-based company said in a statement today. It follows a sale of six Gripen planes to Thailand in 2008.

“The order strengthens the cooperation between Thailand and Sweden,” Saab Chief Executive Officer Hakan Buskhe said in the statement. “It also serves as further proof of Saab’s ability to deliver sophisticated integrated defense systems as well as strengthening international faith in the Gripen system.”

Saab has stepped up its campaign to sell the warplane in Asia and eastern Europe, executives said in September. The company is also trying to win Brazil’s pending order of 36 jets, even after President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva indicated last year that he favored Dassault Aviation SA’s Rafale fighter.

Saab said Nov. 10 it would give notice to more than 200 employees and close its Dynamics business unit plant in Eskilstuna, Sweden, as part of a plan by Buskhe, who started in September, to cut costs.

Saab’s shares were down 0.4 percent at 107.40 kronor, compared with a 1.2 percent drop for the OMX Stockholm 30 Index, as of 2:36 p.m. in Stockholm.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ola Kinnander in Stockholm at okinnander@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at bkammel@bloomberg.net

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