Saab has announced plans to open a new Future Combat Air Systems (FCAS) centre in the UK as a hub to enable its participation in the FCAS programme.

In July last year, the UK and Sweden signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on FCAS co-operation.

Sweden’s FCAS industrial programme is led by Saab in partnership with Sweden’s Ministry of Defence.

Saab is set to initially make an investment of £50m ($63m) as it aims to build a long-term relationship with the UK related to FCAS.

Combat Air is an important part of the long-term growth of Saab. The new centre is expected to allow Saab to be at the forefront of System of Systems development and the advanced technologies.

Currently, the location of Saab’s new FCAS centre is under consideration.

Once developed, the centre will aid the UK in developing indigenous capabilities, as well as invest in research and development.

Saab president and CEO Micael Johansson said: “Combat Air is a key component of Sweden’s defence policy and it is defined as a national security interest.

“Saab’s FCAS strategy ensures that the technology is in place to support a long-term future air capability and also to support continuous upgrades of Gripen E for decades to come.

“Saab took the decision to create a new FCAS centre so that we can further develop the close working relationship with the other FCAS industrial partners and the UK Ministry of Defence. This emphasises the importance of both FCAS and the UK to Saab’s future.”

In May this year, Saab signed a maintenance agreement with the Swedish Armed Forces for supporting the SK60, which is used as a jet-driven training aircraft.