I / ITSEC 2021: Saab posts strong growth as USMC contract nears completion


Åsa Thegström, Vice President and Head of Business Unit Training and Simulation at Saab. (Photo: Trevor Nash)

Saab Training and its parent company are experiencing strong growth, the first starting to deliver three major programs for the Netherlands, Poland and USMC.

Saab had a strong year with 54% year-on-year order intake and an order book of SEK 105 billion ($ 11.6 billion). “This corporate success is also reflected in our Training and Simulation business unit,” said Åsa Thegström, vice president responsible for the T&S division at Saab.

Saab’s T&S organization currently has four main centers: head office in Husqvarna, Sweden, and support bases in the US, UK and Australia.

As of January 1, 2022, Germany will be added to this list to support the company’s work at the German Army Combat Training Center (CTC) near Magdeburg.

“We are currently busy with three large CTC projects,” explained Thegström. “We are currently in the manufacturing phase of our contracts in Poland and the Netherlands while the US Marine Corps contract will begin next February. “

The Polish Army’s CTC contract was signed last September and provides for the formation of a mechanized brigade as well as four training sites for company-sized units. The Royal Dutch Army’s contract, on the other hand, includes upgrades to its current equipment from Saab laser tactical engagement simulation (TESS) systems and the addition of new capabilities.

Saab Training now offers two major TESS programs, plus VTESS. (Photo: Saab)

USMC’s $ 127.9 million Force-on-Force Training System (FoFTS) program involves the provision of TESS capabilities to its four major training sites in the United States, starting with Twentynine Palms , as well as abroad, especially in Japan.

FoFTS will use the NATO common standard code UCATT which, according to the USMC Program Manager Training Systems (PM TRASYS), “improves the realism and efficiency of laser training”.

PM TRASYS added, “It replicates the range of engagement of the simulated weapon system, which improves system performance by accurately determining distance to a target, taking into account the rise and fall of different types of ammunition and allowing to steer a target. “

When the contract was awarded in June 2021, Jon Mohler, Program Manager, Range Training Systems at PM TRASYS, said: “This standard is also the predominant standard used with our [North Atlantic Treaty Organization] allies, thus providing an opportunity to improve the effectiveness of combined training. ‘

Jonathan Slater, vice president and general manager of Saab Land Systems, explained that the USMC program is managed by Saab Inc “and in particular” its Land Systems business unit.

“In addition to the live training systems, Saab Inc is also responsible for the delivery of our part of the T-7A trainer aircraft to our colleagues at Boeing, ”he added.

Saab Training is also confident in the future. Thegström said the VTESS program continues to see deliveries made to the US military in conjunction with prime contractor Lockheed Martin, adding that “there are a number of new requirements for live training and our range. of virtual trainers emerging over the next year “.

There is no doubt that the TESS market will evolve over the next decade as the United States seeks to replace I-MILES and discussions are underway to replace laser-based TESS with new technologies such as than geo-pairing.

“There’s certainly a lot going on in the live training space right now,” said Hans Lindgren, business development manager at Saab Training. shepherd. “But you have to remember that countries have already invested a lot in achieving common operating standards, and it shows in the support given to the Interoperability Users Committee (IUC) and the ability of that group to participate in multinational exercises.

“As Saab has shown, we’ve added new technological capabilities to live training over the years, and there will definitely be more to come, but I guess laser systems will be around for many years to come. . “


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