Serious question. Would keeping the CDN Grippen plant open be a good idea long-term???
My assumptions for arguments sake:
On one hand, we get the ability to produce and maintain our own fighters, a key strategic capability that's new. If we go F-35 and WW3 kicks off we'd be sharing a production line with many other partners, similar to the vaccine situation? How many planes could the F-35 plant really shove out for every partner in wartime?
Downside is that every gov't would be forced into buying more CDN Grippens after every order is almost complete, to avoid being the ones to 'close the plant'. No gov't would want be have the comparison to the Avro Arrow cancellation (regardless of practicality or cost). I'm thinking of GDLS-C, would we ever not
buy a LAV or whatever to keep that plant open?
So do we work with the Saab plant like the NSS/GDLS-C; work as efficient enough to keep paychecks coming for as long as possible? Build 88 planes in 10ish years, then in the 2030s be forced to buy into a new Saab project or build another couple blocks of Grippens? Is having a larger fleet of Grippens better than F-35s? But, do we really want to push away from the US in yet another way, or would they be ok with us having a larger 120+ fleet of Grippens and be happy that we have more for NORAD duties or stationing abroad?
Senior Executive Vice President and head of SAAB Aeronautics, Lennart Sindahl, talks to Georg Mader for Defence IQ about the company’s activities in the fighter domain and beyond…
LS: One of the ideas, once we have that F-model – and I can say this without ‘disclosing’ anything – is that the future market will need a dedicated electronic-attack version...
DIQ: Ah, you mean a‘Growler Gripen’, with pods, and full of humps and blades.
LS (laughing): Yes, exactly.If you look into future combat scenarios, if you have a highend air force with a broad threat situation, such as the ‘GG’ as you called it, would make a real difference. That‘s what we’re looking into and that’s why it’s so good to have Brazil on board with the Fmodel.