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Czechs sign agreement to fly Saab's Gripen fighter for another 12 years
by Richard Tomkins
Linkoping, Sweden (UPI) May 16, 2013

Organizational change for BAE Systems Inc.
Arlington, Va. (UPI) May 16, 2013 - BAE Systems in the United States is restructuring its business sectors to enhance company efficiency and effectiveness.

The change takes effect on July 1 and involves the consolidation of its four business sectors into three. Elements of its Support Solutions will be integrated into the company's Electronic Systems, Land & Armaments, and Intelligence & Security sectors, BAE Systems said.

"As our markets evolve due to shifting customer priorities and defense budget pressures, we must adapt to ensure our continued ability to compete, perform, and deliver in the business environment of tomorrow," said Jerry DeMuro, president and chief executive officer of BAE Systems, Inc.

"These organizational changes will enable a more integrated approach to the strategic development of our portfolio as we seek to protect and expand our core businesses, pursue new opportunities, and reduce infrastructure costs."

BAE Systems said the change follows other measures taken to keep the company competitive.

The Czech Republic is to continue leasing Saab Gripen fighter aircraft for a dozen years under a government-to-government agreement signed Friday, Saab said.

The air force of the Czech Republic flies 14 Gripen C/D jets under a 2006 lease from Sweden, which expires next year.

"With this agreement, the Czech Republic is taking a long-term strategic decision to continue operating Gripen and ensuring the continued development of its national capability," said Lennart Sindahl, senior executive vice president and head of Saab's Aeronautics business area. "This is further proof of the confidence in Gripen, and its defense capacity."

The Gripen is a single-engine, multi-role fighter first introduced in the late 1990s. It has a maximum speed of 1,372 miles per hour at high altitude and a combat radius of 497 miles. It's flown by three other countries in addition to Sweden and the Czech Republic and was selected last year for procurement by Brazil.

Details of the leasing agreement were not immediately available.


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