Saab has responded to unsigned articles in the Bulgarian-language media which the company described in a statement as having been based on a selective reading of a report about 15 year-old allegations regarding Gripen and the Czech Republic and Hungary.
“Saab welcomes an open and honest debate in the Bulgarian media about the merits of the Gripen aircraft and the Swedish offer, which was deemed to be the best of three proposals received by Bulgaria’s government-appointed committee of independent experts,” the company said.
“Saab has a very strict policy regulating its business deals and relationships. Our business is conducted against stiff competition and it must always be characterised by high quality and correctness. Everything else is contrary to our own strict standards and is completely unacceptable.”
The company said that in the defence industry, business deals and agreements are long term, up to 30 years.
Therefore, it is important that every business agreement is built on solid and proper foundations, the statement said.
“This is essential for enabling lasting relationships to be established between us and the countries who buy defence materiel from us. We are convinced that strong business ethics are good for our business.”
Saab said that it looks forward to the start of transparent negotiations between Sweden and Bulgaria regarding the Gripen offer, and believes that an agreement that is advantageous to Sweden and Bulgaria, to Saab and Bulgarian industry, and which delivers value to Bulgarian tax payers, is achievable.
“Saab will build new Gripen C/D aircraft for Bulgaria, and will deliver the first aircraft within 18 months of contract signature,” the statement said.
(A Czech Air Force Gripen. Photo: Ministerstvo obrany České republiky)