Saab has appointed the former Gripen test pilot and Head of Saab Malaysia, Ola Rignell, as the new Chairman & Managing Director of Saab India Technology Pvt Ltd (SITPL).
Ola’s appointment as Head of Country Unit India further reinforces Saab´s long-term commitment to the Indian market, where a high degree of Saab activity is currently underway. Ola’s predecessor, Jan Widerstrom, has taken on new responsibiltites in Sweden after many years dedicated to building Saab’s presence in India.
“Ola has the experience and the expertise which will enable Saab to further strengthen our work in the country and take forward our unbroken relationship of over 40 years. We are committed to building next-generation defence and security capabilities in India. Together with Indian government and industry, we would like to develop new ways to meet the challenges of tomorrow,” says Dean Rosenfield, Head of Saab Market Area Asia Pacific.
Ola has long experience of partnership with international armed forces and engagement with their defence and security needs. A former pilot with the Swedish Air Force, Ola has been deeply involved in Sweden’s Gripen programme, with responsibility for testing weapons, avionics, engine performance and human/machine interfaces.
Ola has logged more than 2500 flight hours on different Swedish fighters including Draken, Viggen and Gripen, and on other combat aircraft such as the F-16, Tornado, Hawk and Harrier. Ola has logged more than 1500 flight hours on civilian flight operations. He holds a Commercial Pilot Licence and has been rated on a host of different aircraft from the Beechcraft King Air to the Gulfstream G550. Ola is a member and fellow of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots.
Ola acted as Saab project pilot in the US/Swedish Ground Collision Avoidance System (GCAS) endeavour, working with the Swedish Air Force, FMV, USAF, NASA and Lockheed Martin. He earlier served as Saab’s Director of Business Development, Aviation Training, Business Area Support & Services.