By Joseph Roukoz
During Defexpo 2018, the Swedish defence manufacturer Saab Group announced that it is ready to produce its very Short Range Air Defence (VSHORAD) System in India, provided the customer, the Indian goverment, issues its supply order. India is looking for a VSHORAD system to replace its ageing Igla system from Russia and should be sourcing more than 5000 missiles and 1.200 launcher. Saab is proposing its RBS 70 NG (New Generation), a laser beam-riding missile system with a maximum range of 9 km and maximum altitude of 5 km, which features as projectile the Bolide Mach 2 missile. Available in MANPADS configuration, adjustments were made to cope with Indian weight-limits requirements. Trials began in May 2012 and are now concluded. Saab has established relations with a number of potential suppliers and has fine-tined offset arrangements. The selection of the VSHORAD systems among three existing candidates is awaited for 2018, the new missile system being acquired for all three services, Army, Navy and Air Force.
On the aviation side Saab exhibited for the first time the Gripen E simulator with a wide area display. The 19 x 8 inch panoramic high-resolution screen allows a redundant and intelligent presentation of information across its entire length, with the capacity to receive inputs from multitask keys, the touchscreen or external interfaces. The information is presented in easily interpretable, information-centric icons on a large wide area display touchscreen, enabling fully-configurable information presentation – and the potential for reconfiguration mid-mission – by the press of a button.