GKN in Trollhättan today carried out the maintenance and technical support of the engine of the JAS 39 C / D Gripen combat aircraft, the RM12. Now, the same operation for the engine of JAS 39E, the RM16, will also be established here.
FMV has been tasked by the Swedish Armed Forces to begin establishing technical support and rear maintenance for the engine to JAS 39E at GKN in Trollhättan. The engine is manufactured in the US by General Electric (GE), and is named RM16 in Sweden.
“It feels great that we have received a decision from the Armed Forces on this issue and a clear focus on how we will continue to work. This is a good solution that is fully in line with FMV's recommendation,” says Dan Averstad, FMV's head of business area Gripen.
The alternative to providing technical support and rear maintenance in Sweden would have been to use the resources and infrastructure already built up in the US for, among other things, the needs of the US Navy.
The appropriateness of establishing the supply solution in the US has been discussed by interested parties for a long time and for several reasons. Therefore, in collaboration with the companies concerned, FMV has developed an alternative solution, which the Swedish Armed Forces has now chosen.
“We got the companies to agree on a proposal that is in line with Swedish wishes, both from FMVs and from the Air Force. It is a solution that is very similar to the one we have for the engine for JAS 39 C / D,” says Dan Averstad.
The solution means that most of the technical support and maintenance at the rear level is carried out by GKN in Trollhättan, co-located with corresponding maintenance for the engine to JAS 39 C / D. Maintenance includes both preventative and remedial maintenance down to component level.
“As the Armed Forces will continue to use JAS 39 C / D for the foreseeable future, we can have major synergies in, among other things, engine maintenance between JAS 39C / D and JAS 39E. This also means that we use investments already made, in both competence and infrastructure, at GKN in a good way.”
But initially, investments in skills development and infrastructure additions will be required for the new RM16. The investment is assessed to provide added value for the Swedish Armed Forces in the form of lower costs over time, as well as a higher level of service, maintenance security and accessibility, not least at elevated contingency level.
The establishment in Trollhättan will bring better opportunities to maintain and develop engine competence in Sweden regarding engines for fighter aircraft systems, which has been an important aspect.
FMV will now deepen the dialogue with the companies concerned, in order to be able to begin work on establishing the intended solution as soon as possible.
“It is important that we received this message from the Swedish Armed Forces well in advance, which means that we can establish the solution in accordance with the timetable for the introduction of JAS 39E in Sweden,” says Dan Averstad.