Under an extended contract, GKN Aerospace will continue to offer support services to RM12 engines that power the South African Air Force’s Gripen fighter aircraft.

Valued at more than $8m, the contract extension was signed between GKN Aerospace and the Armaments Corporation of South Africa (ARMSCOR).

The latest extension will allow GKN Aerospace to continue to provide technical product support, maintenance, and parts supply for the engines until October 2020.

GKN Aerospace Commercial Military director Hans Krokstrand said: “Our unique and efficient engine maintenance capabilities have supported the airforce operations effectively since 2008.”

The company has been supporting the RM12 engines since the first South African Gripen went into service in 2008.

GKN performs work related to technical product support, maintenance, and parts supply in both Sweden and South Africa.

“Our unique and efficient engine maintenance capabilities have supported the airforce operations effectively since 2008.”

Under a partnership with the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV), GKN developed engine support capabilities for single-engine aircraft like the Gripen fighter.

The Gripen multi-role fighter aircraft can perform a wide range of air-to-air, air-to-surface, and reconnaissance missions by using a modern range of weapons.

The aircraft features delta wing and canards, along with a digital fly-by-wire flight control system.

As part of a separate contract, Saab will deliver airworthiness management, engineering support, maintenance, repair and overhaul, spares replenishment, and updates of technical publications for Gripen fighters operated by the South African Air Force until February 2020.