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Brazilian and Swedish air forces about to receive first Saab Gripen E fighters


The first production Saab Gripen E fighters are being completed and should be dispatched in 2022, Ricardo Meier reports in Air Data News. About 30 of the 106 ordered aircraft are already on the assembly line.

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Brazilian and Swedish air forces about to receive first Gripen E fighters

The first series-production Gripen E for Brazil (Picture source: Saab)


The Gripen E fighter manufacturing workload will be heavy in 2022, as Saab is preparing to handle the first deliveries of series production aircraft to its two customers, Sweden and Brazil. According to the company, Ricardo Meier reports, there are currently nine jets flying, a number that will be expanded by the end of 2021. Four of these Gripens will be sent to the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) in early 2022, as part of the order for 36 units closed years ago. The two-seat Gripen F variant is still being developed and will have an assembly line in Brazil.

The Brazilian Gripen Programme began in 2013 when Saab successfully bid for the F-X2 Programme to replace the jet fighter fleet operated by the Brazilian Air Force (FAB). In October 2014 a contract was signed with the Brazilian government for the development and production of 36 aircraft. In 2024 the last jet fighter will be delivered to FAB, but the partnership between Saab and Brazil is expected to go on for a long time through a wide-ranging technology transfer that will enable Brazil to develop, produce and maintain supersonic jet fighters.

Saab was announced as the successful bidder by the Brazilian government in December 2013, after a tender process involving a US and a French company. FAB studies concluded that Gripen would guarantee long-term planning through the technology transfer and the possibility to build the aircraft in Brazil, as it was an aircraft in development.

In addition to meeting the military requirements established by FAB, Gripen had the lowest lifecycle operating costs. "Gripen was sold with the commitment to transfer technology necessary for the development of the Brazilian aerospace industry. The fact that Gripen is a prototype means Brazil can be involved in the development of the project, which will give the Brazilian industry and FAB unprecedented access to all levels of technology," explains Lieutenant General Juniti Saito, former Brazilian Air Force Commander.

That was the beginning of the partnership in the development of technology, both in Brazil and in Sweden. Saab and the Brazilian government signed the offset deal, which includes the transfer of technology to Brazilian companies and the commitment to develop and produce 36 new Gripen fighters between 2019 and 2024, on October 27, 2014. The technology transfer and joint development of Gripen E and F (single-seat and twin-seat) began, as required by FAB.

The Swedish Air Force will also receive its first Gripen E in 2022. Sweden has ordered 60 fighters that will equip three wings. They will be operated along around 40 Gripen A and D (two-seater) jets that will be kept operational, out of 97 aircraft in the fleet.