Cape Town, South Africa (PANA) - Swedish aerospace and defence company Saab is to invest in an advanced training centre for experienced fighter pilots from around the world at the Overberg air force base near Cape Town, South Africa, the company said in a statement.
The Gripen Fighter Weapon School is an initiative from Saab in co-operation with the Gripen Air Forces user group, Saab said in the statement, obtained by PANA here Tuesday.
It will hone the fighting skills of experienced Gripen pilots from all over the world.
The custom built facilities on the southern tip of Africa will provide exceptional training with extensive airspace over mountain ranges, desserts and the Indian and Atlantic Ocean.
The course will be run during the South African summer which offers favourable meteorological conditions.
The training will focus on different multirole aspects every year and the advanced airborne exercises will be mixed with academia and survival training in an African context.
“Gripen is now operative and in service in five countries world wide, and the system is continually under development. Saab now believes there is a need to establish an advanced training centre for experienced Gripen pilots with the aim to increase their operational capabilities, provide an opportunity to operate in an environment different from their own and a chance to train in a region that mirrors a realistic future potential deployment scenario,” Saab's President in South Africa Magnus Lewis-Olsson said in the statement.
“The Gripen Fighter Weapon School will increase our understanding between different Gripen operators and our own efforts to create a common software baseline as the pilots will cross reference their experience of Gripen,” he said.
The first course is scheduled to take place late 2013.
-0- PANA CU/SEG 24July2012