DRB-HICOM: Saab Group’s Malaysian partner

Swedish aerospace and defence company Saab Group emphasised recently that it has found a reliable Malaysian partner in DRB-HICOM, which utilises local content and capabilities for its Gripen aircraft and Erieye airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) system.

President and Chief Executive Officer Hakan Buskhe said it is Saab’s strategy around the world to have multi-domestic partners instead of multi-international ones, a key strategy where technology transfer is concerned.


Saab has a long history of supplying to the Malaysian Armed Forces high-performance, cost-efficient defence systems such as navy and army radar systems, airborne self-protection systems for fighters, naval command and control systems and army support weapons including anti-tank weapons.

Saab signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Malaysian company DRB-HICOM in March 2013 with the purpose to broaden and deepen the relationship between the companies that began back in 2011.

The agreement outlines industrial cooperation, which will look into areas of technology transfer and bringing expertise to Malaysia among others. It is an added effort to broaden and deepen the existing relationship between both companies.

The parties agreed to explore the various areas of cooperation that include the design and manufacturing of advanced composite system and components for military and commercial aerospace applications, composite repair technology. In addition to this the agreement also covers UAV systems and technology, system integration of electronic warfare, avionics and other airborne systems.

“For Saab, the agreement with DRB-HICOM is an important step in order to do further business in Malaysia and surrounding countries”, Dan-Åke Enstedt, President and CEO of Saab Asia Pacific then commented the agreement.

“Currently we are marketing the AEW&C to the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF), and several different systems to both the Royal Malaysian Navy and Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) as well as the Malaysian Army,” Buskhe told Malaysian media.

For Gripen they are offering a full capability cost-efficient lease solution without restrictions or commitments for future acquisitions.

“We are satisfied with our joint efforts, and perhaps we can expand that together and see what we can do in the future to cultivate this good cooperation,” he added.

DRB-HICOM Defence Technologies Sdn Bhd (DEFTECH) is a prime defence contractor that plays an integral role in providing the development, manufacturing and supply of armoured and logistic vehicles for military and homeland security. In commercial sector, DEFTECH is also a preferred supplier for specialised vehicles and commercial buses.

DEFTECH, a wholly owned subsidiary of DRB-HICOM Berhad is one of Malaysia’s leading corporations, involved in the automotive manufacturing, assembly and distribution industry.

Source: bernama.com.my and Saab Group

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