Brazilian Air Force aims to decommission AMX attack aircraft by 2025 and F-5 fighters by 2029

Combat aircraft will be replaced by the new Saab F-39 Gripen E/F fighters being delivered

With the arrival and commissioning of the first Saab F-39E Gripen fighter jets, the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) began the process of renewing its fighter aviation fleet. As a result, the service already has forecasts of when it should remove the A-1M fighter-bombers (Embraer AMX) and the Northrop F-5EM/FM Tiger II from service.

In a statement to the Tecnodefesa outlet, the FAB informed that the A-1M should remain in operation until 2025, although “adjustments may occur, in view of the capabilities that this vector has”.

The attack aircraft produced by Embraer in partnership with Italian manufacturers was introduced into the Brazilian fleet in 1989. The Air Force received a total of 56 aircraft, of which only the modernized A-1s are still active (around 11 airframes).

Operated by the Air Force for almost 50 years, the F-5EM/FM (modernized by Embraer) will continue to operate alongside the new Gripen until the end of the decade. The FAB mentioned that Northrop fighters remain in service until 2029.

A-1M attack aircraft (FAB)

Gripen assembly line in Brazil

Between 1975 and 2008, the FAB acquired a total of 75 F-5 fighters in the E and F versions. These aircraft were received in three different batches, the first two coming from the United States. The first batch was made up of new jets from the factory and the second batch of second-hand US Air Force models.

The third batch was also used aircraft, purchased from Jordan. For strategic reasons, the Air Force does not inform the number of active aircraft.

Saab F-39E Gripen (FAB)

The deactivation of the Dassault Mirage 2000 fighters in 2013 forced the FAB to place the F-5 as the main defense aircraft in Brazilian airspace. In the midst of this change in tasks, the supersonic jets were modernized by Embraer and received more advanced flight equipment and weapons. The process was carried out in 43 airframes, designated as F-5EM and F-5FM (in the two-seat version).

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So far, the FAB has received four F-39E Gripen fighters and another two aircraft should arrive in Brazil in May. The fighters delivered are part of an order for 36 aircraft from Saab, 28 of which are the E version (with a single seat) and eight in the F variant (two seats), which is in the initial development phase.

The agreement with Saab also involves transferring technology to produce the fighter jet in Brazil. The assembly line for the Brazilian Gripen, at Embraer’s headquarters in Gavião Peixoto, will be inaugurated on April 27th.


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