Saab AB
Type Public (OMXSAAB B)
Industry Aerospace and defence
Founded Trollhättan, Sweden (1937)
Headquarters Stockholm, Sweden
Area served Worldwide
Key people Håkan Buskhe
(President & CEO)
Marcus Wallenberg (Chairman)
Products Air Traffic Control systems
Fighter aircraft
Military aircraft
Military systems
Revenue 24.434 billion SEK (2010)
Operating income 0.975 billion SEK (2010)
Net income 0.454 billion SEK (2010)
Employees 12,500 (2010)
References: Numbers from Saab's Annual Report 2010 [1]

Saab AB[2] is a Swedish aerospace and defence company, founded in 1937. From 1947 to 1990 it was the parent company of automobile manufacturer Saab Automobile, and between 1968 and 1995 the company was in a merger with commercial vehicle manufacturer Scania, known as Saab-Scania.



"Svenska Aeroplan AB (aktiebolag)" (Swedish for "Swedish Aeroplane Company Limited") (SAAB) was founded in 1937 in Trollhättan,[3] with the merger of SAAB and Linköping based ASJA[4] the headquarters moved to Linköping. The style "Saab" replaced "SAAB" around 1950.[4]

Originally manufacturing aeroplanes, the company sought ways in which to diversify its business and in the late 1940s began manufacturing cars. The Saab Automobile division was based in Trollhättan. The first car was the Saab 92001, launched on 10 June 1947. The company soon developed a reputation for safe and reliable cars, with a notable competition history.

In the late 1950s Saab ventured into the computer market with Datasaab.[3] The company was a result partly of the need to make a computer that would be small enough to mount in an aeroplane as navigational equipment. During the 1960s several computers were developed and sold to European countries, for uses such as banking. The aircraft computer (CK 37) was used in 1971 in the Viggen. The company was sold in 1975 to Sperry UNIVAC, while Saab retained its flight computer development.

In May 1965, the company name was changed to Saab AB to reflect its broad range of activities.[4]

In 1968 Saab AB merged with the Swedish lorry, bus and heavy-duty diesel engine manufacturer Scania-Vabis,[5] and became Saab-Scania AB. The merger meant that Saab no longer had to import the British Triumph Slant-4 engine, and could instead use the engine production facilities of Scania. In 1972 they started manufacturing the Saab B engine, and in 1977 Saab took advantage of Scania's experience with turbochargers and added one to the engine, thus creating one of the earliest turbocharged "family cars" with the Saab 99 Turbo, which has been listed by Popular Mechanics as the second best turbocharged car ever made.[6]

In 1990 General Motors bought 51 percent of the car division Saab Automobile, and acquired the rest a decade later.

Following the sale of the car division, the main reason behind the merger with Scania in 1968 had disappeared, so in 1995 Saab-Scania de-merged and the company name once again became Saab AB.

In 1995 Saab Military Aircraft and British Aerospace (now BAE Systems) formed the joint venture company Saab-BAe Gripen AB, to manufacture, market and support Gripen internationally. This co-operation was extended in 2001 with the formation of Gripen International for the same purpose.[7]

Since 1998 the British aerospace company BAE Systems has been the largest shareholder in Saab following its acquisition of a 35% stake from Investor AB by its predecessor, British Aerospace. In January 2005 BAE reduced its shareholding to 20%. Investor AB also maintains a 20% share. Investor AB hold 38% of the voting rights and is, with the other Wallenberg institutions, the majority owner.

In December 2005 Saab joined the Dassault nEUROn project as a major partner.

In October 2008 the company announced its intention to merge its operations with that of Simrad Optronics. The new unit will develop high-tech optronics products and will be headquartered in Norway, although other details of the new arrangement have not been finalized.[8]

On January 1 2010 the company restructured from fifteen business units into five business areas; Aeronautics, Dynamics, Electronic Defence Systems, Security and Defence Solutions, and Support and Services. According to Saab the restructuring was undertaken to become more market and customer oriented.[9]

Aircraft production

The main focus of aircraft production is fighter aircraft. Saab has been making aeroplanes since the 1930s, and the jet predecessors of the Gripen were the Tunnan, the Lansen, the Draken and the Viggen. The last civilian models made by Saab were the Saab 340 and Saab 2000. Both were mid-range turboprop-powered passenger planes. The development and the manufacturing of these aeroplanes takes place in Linköping.



Saab AT4 portable anti-tank weapon
Saab 340 with Erieye radar

Aeronautics offers; airborne systems, related subsystems, Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and aerostructures The business area Aeronautics is responsible for airframe structures for JAS 39 Gripen, and whole sections for Airbus, Boeing and NH90.

System development of the JAS 39 Gripen and the Skeldar VTOL UAV. Aeronautics is also partner in the European joint UAV-project Dassault nEUROn, where Saab develop Avionics and is responsible for the overall architecture and design. Marketing and support of the JAS 39 Gripen fighter jet is also included in the Aeronautics business area.[10]


Dynamics offers ground combat weapons, missile systems, torpedoes, sensor systems, unmanned underwater vehicles and signature management systems, remotely operated vehicles for armed forces as well as civil security applications.[11]

Short range weapons offered include Carl-Gustaf, AT4/AT4 CS, STRIX and MBT LAW. Missile systems offered are RBS 70, RBS 23 BAMSE, RBS 15.

Electronic Defence Systems

With the area of Electronic Defence Systems airborne, ground based and naval radars are offered including; Erieye, ARTHUR and GIRAFFE.

Various self protection systems are also offered within the business area such as; counter measure dispenser systems, sensors and jammers. The business area also offer display systems, head up displays, monitoring systems and various other avionics related solutions.[12]

Security and Defence Solutions

The security and defence solutions area develop systems within the civil security sector as well as training and simulation solutions. The offer include Airborne early warning systems and C4ISTAR systems. [13]

The training and simulation operations of the area offer tactical training and live-firing solutions for military and civil security use.

Support and Services

Support and Services offer maintenance, integrated support solutions, field facilities, logistics and regional aircraft maintenance.[14]

Saab Aircraft Leasing leases and resells Saab aircraft to airlines. It completed 30 transactions in 2010.[15]


Military aircraft

  • Saab 17 (bomber/dive-bomber) (manufactured 1941-1944, 323 built)
  • Saab 18 (twin-engine bomber and reconnaissance aircraft) (manufactured 1944-1948, 245 built)
  • Saab 21 (twin-boom push-prop fighter/attack aircraft) (manufactured 1945-1949, 298 built)
  • Saab 21R (jet-powered version of Saab 21) (manufactured 1950-1952, 64 built)
  • Saab 29 Tunnan (first purpose-built jet fighter) (manufactured 1950-1956, 661 built)
  • Saab 32 Lansen (attack aircraft) (manufactured 1953-1959, 450 built)
  • Saab 35 Draken (fighter) (manufactured 1955–1974, 644 built)
  • Saab 37 Viggen (fighter/attack/reconnaissance aircraft) (manufactured 1970 and 1990, 329 built)
  • Saab 39 Gripen (multirole fighter) (introduced 1996, 219 built as of 2010)
  • Saab 105 (twin engine trainer) (manufactured 1963-1972, 192 built)

Civil aircraft

  • Saab 90 Scandia (32 passenger short-/medium-haul aircraft) (manufactured 1946-1954, 18 built)
  • Saab 91 Safir (single engine trainer) (manufactured 1946-1966, 323 built)
  • MFI-15 Safari/MFI-17 Supporter (single engine trainer) (manufactured 1971- late 1970s, ca 250 built)
  • Saab 340 (30-32 passenger short-haul aircraft) (manufactured 1983-1999, 459 built)
  • Saab 2000 (50-58 passenger high-speed turboprop airliner) (manufactured 1992-1999, 63 built)

Saab Barracuda LLC


The Saab Barracuda LLC facility in Lillington, North Carolina, manufactures signature management products and provides customized services. Foremost among the camouflage, concealment and deception products is the Ultra Lightweight Camouflage Net System – ULCANS – which provides multi-spectral protection against visual, near infrared, thermal infrared and broadband radar detection. ULCANS is fielded with the U.S. Army and other Department of Defense organizations and is available in both woodland and desert versions.[16] Saab Barracuda is one of only two qualified suppliers of ULCANS in North America, and currently holds a competed $1.76 B contract, along with GMA Cover Corp.[17]


In May, 2010, GMA Cover Corp. filed an antitrust lawsuit against Saab Barracuda, citing predatory pricing practices.[18]


See also



  1. ^ "Saab Annual report 2010". 
  2. ^ NOTE: Saab AB is the format found at SAAB is the logo, not the name.
  3. ^ a b "Saab | History and Background: Timeline, Video". 1980-01-01. Retrieved 2009-02-11. 
  4. ^ a b c Gunston, Bill (2005). World Encyclopedia of Aircraft Manufacturers, 2nd Edition. Phoenix Mill, Gloucestershire, England, UK: Sutton Publishing Limited. p. 164. ISBN 0-7509-3981-8. 
  5. ^ "History of Saab". 1939-09-01. Retrieved 2009-02-11. 
  6. ^ Top 10 Turbocharged Cars of All Time
  7. ^ History of Saab
  8. ^ Aviation Week & Space Technology Vol 169 No 17, "New Kid on the Block", p. 16
  9. ^ "Saab presents new operating and management structure". Saab AB. 2009-09-09. Retrieved 2010-08-03. 
  10. ^ " – The business area Aeronautics". Saab. 2010-08-05. Retrieved 2010-08-05. 
  11. ^ " – The business area Dynamics". Saab. 2010-08-05. Retrieved 2010-08-05. 
  12. ^ " – The business area Electronic Defence Systems". Saab. 2010-08-05. Retrieved 2010-08-05. 
  13. ^ " – The business area Security and Defence Solutions". Saab. 2010-08-05. Retrieved 2010-08-05. 
  14. ^ " – The business area Support and Services". Saab. 2010-08-05. Retrieved 2010-08-05. 
  15. ^ "Saab Aircraft Leasing doubles aircraft transactions". Retrieved 2011-02-27. 
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^


External links

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