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Saab

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SAAB (originally an acronym for "Svenska Aeroplan AB," where "AB" stands for "aktiebolaget" ("corporation")) AB was founded as a Swedish aircraft concern in 1937 in the city of Linköping, in Sweden. After World War II, the company sought ways in which to diversify its business and started to manufacture Saab Automobiles in the late 1940s (in the city of Trollhättan) and computers (Datasaab) in the late 1950s. Saab produced its first automobile on June 10, 1947.

In 1969 Saab acquired the truck maker Scania AB, and between 1969 and 1995 the company was called Saab-Scania. General Motors bought half of Saab Automobile in 1990, and acquired the rest a decade later. Saab Automobile has not generated a profit since the complete GM takeover.

Contents

Ownership

Since 1998 BAE Systems has been the largest shareholder in SAAB AB following the acquisition of a 35% stake from Investor AB by British Aerospace. From January 2005 BAE reduced its shareholding to 20%, which it views as a long term interest. Investor AB also maintains a 20% share.

Aircraft

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Currently, the main focus of the aircraft production is fighter aircraft, with the recent JAS 39 Gripen as the flagship model. Saab has been making airplanes since the 1930s, and predecessors to the Gripen were among others the Lansen, the Draken and the Viggen. The last civilian models made by Saab were the Saab 340 and Saab 2000. Both were mid-range, turboprop powered, passenger planes. The development and the manufacturing of these airplanes has all been made in Linköping, Sweden.

In 1995 Saab Military Aircraft and British Aerospace (now BAE Systems) formed the joint venture company Saab-BAe Gripen AB, with the goal of adapting, manufacturing, marketing and supporting Gripen internationally. This co-operation was extended in 2001 with the formation of Gripen International for the same purpose.

BAE SYSTEMS designed an improved wing, which they then manufactured and are set to produce 45% of currently planned export airframes. Saab Military Aircraft is responsible for the overall 'aircraft system' including basic aircraft development and production, and testing and delivery.

Models

Space & military technology

Saab Ericsson Space is a joint venture with Ericsson, designing the on board computers used in the Ariane 5 rockets used by the European Space Agency. Saab Missiles develops military applications.

Datasaab

The Datasaab company was a result partly of the need of heavy computational power for the aircraft development, partly of the science-fictional idea to make a computer that would be small enough to mount in an airplane as navigational equipment. During the 1960s several successful and advanced systems were developed and sold to several European countries (used in e.g. banking). The aircraft computer (CK37) was achieved in 1971 in the Viggen. The now less successful company was sold off in 1975 to Sperry UNIVAC, while flight computer development was kept in Saab.

See also

External links

de:Saab id:Saab ja:SAAB nl:SAAB pl:Saab pt:Saab sv:Saab (flygplan)

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