Saab launches C2 powerhouse

By Leon Engelbrecht, ITWeb senior writer
Johannesburg, 03 Oct 2007

Swedish-South African defence giant Saab has completed integrating its former Grintek Integrated Defence Systems (Grids) division with new acquisition CyberSim.

The new entity is headed by Willie Bothma, previously CEO at CyberSim. The value of the deal was not disclosed. Saab previously owned a 25% stake in CyberSim, with BAE Systems, the British-American defence conglomerate, owning another 25%, and management the remainder.

Saab senior VP and MD for Saab Systems Dan-Ake Enstedt says adding CyberSim to the local Saab organisation will strengthen the company's offering in the command-and-control (C2) and conflict simulation (war gaming) environments.

Military C2 roughly corresponds with civilian business intelligence technology.

Speaking last night at an event to mark the merger, Enstedt said Saab Systems SA will consolidate Grids' position in the air C2 market with CyberSim's offer in the landward C2 and conflict simulation areas.

"Grids designed, developed and is maintaining the sophisticated and wholly South African surveillance control and air defence system for the SA Air Force," he said.

"With the addition of the locally developed Chaka landward C2 system, as well as the BattleTek conflict simulation system suitable for all levels of landward and joint operations, Saab now has a mature offer and systems integration capability in both sectors," he added.

"Already the new business unit has succeeded in integrating the two systems to a significant extent, thus reaping the benefit of having expertise in both the landward and air domains. The new unit has a significant offer in the civilian domains for conflict simulation, as well as in C2 and decision support for disaster management."

Enstedt added that Saab considers SA a home market, which implies that it operates less as a local branch of a multinational and more like a domestic company. This meant a focus on local job creation and management, local intellectual property ownership and the local maintenance of all Saab-supported systems.

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