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World champions in integrated communication
For Saab Denmark the sky is the limit when it comes to growth and they have the numbers to show for them: In four years, the sales have grown from 60 mill. Danish Kroner to 200 and the goal is to reach 400 mill. before 2020. As a result, Saab just recently move their Danish headquarter to a newly erected building, larger but still in Sønderborg and still with a scenic view to the water that divides the old city in Southern Denmark. Two local engineers who made a business by developing communication systems for the navy founded the company in 1981. In 2000, Maersk Data Defence took over and since 2006 the company has been a part of Saab, adding communication systems to the Swedish company’s portfolio.
Integration is key
Today Saab Denmark has three main products. Mine sweeping software, maritime consoles and most importantly communication systems. CEO Heino Lundgren explains:
- Integration is key, and when it comes to such systems, I dare to say Saab is world champions. We are able to integrate just about any platform, VHF, satcom, internal communications etc. into one user-friendly terminal but Saab also prevails in tailor made solutions for the individual customers.
Those solutions are based on many years of presence on ships, according to the CEO. Saab know the technology but the company also have profound knowledge in how the soldiers are using the products in all kind of situations. Saab consoles are used in almost all Danish navy ships, but are also integrated in the General Dynamics part of the Littoral Combat Ship program in the US. The mine sweeping technology originates from the nineties but in Denmark old mines from WWII are still found in the waters and sweeping them are an important task.
Focus on developing great products
The transformation from being a small Danish company to become a part of big Saab have created new opportunities for Saab Denmark:
- On one side you have all the back office tasks that are now done from Saab headquarters. Before 2006 we spend a lot of resources on administration, legal work, security assessments etc., but now we can focus on developing great products, Heino Lundgren says and adds:
- But I guess that the most important change is that our products are now marketed by Saab. We are present at all the major defense exhibitions in the world and our communication solutions are sold from 33 offices in the biggest defense markets around the globe which has had a great impact on our sales.
Saab CEO Heino Lundgren present the Saab maritime consoles which e.g. can be found in the US Littoral Combat Ship program
Gripen opens new markets
In 2014 the Swedish and Brazilian government agreed on the sales of Gripen fighter jets to the big South American country, and that deal also made a difference in Sønderborg:
- Gripen have created fantastic opportunities in Brazil and I have no doubt, that the Brazilian market will become our next major breakthrough. Moreover in the long run I expect Brazil to be the gateway to the entire continent, Gripen might very well be sold to other countries in the region, and in Saab Denmark we are ready to utilize any opportunity this will create, Heino Lundgren states.
80 % of Saab Denmark’s sales are exports. The biggest markets in 2015 are Northern Europe and Asia and a part are sold in the oil and gas industry that, like defense, requires products that works in tough environments.