The Swedish Airplane Company, or Saab AB, has been building aircraft since 1937. To diversify its business, the company started making cars in the late 1940s. Whether we cringe or not, Saab Automobile (the car division) has always reminded the public that its cars have fighter jet DNA (e.g., "Born from Jets"). Now comes word that the Swedish aeronautics manufacturer is partnering with India's Tata Group to build a variant of the Gripen fighter designed to go head-to-head with the some of the world's top military aircraft for some billion-dollar contracts.

Tata brings quite a bit to the relationship. India's largest business group not only builds a vast amount of vehicles, but it has steel manufacturing divisions, electric companies, and IT businesses. Tata also brings cash to the table. Whether the new bedfellows can get it together and knock such heavy-hitters as the F-16, F-18, and MiG-29 out of the sky has yet to be determined, but it should be an interesting battle.

[Source: Google/AFP]