Saab Gripen and the Embraer KC-390

Chief of the Brazilian Air Force talks about second batch of nine Gripen fighters

Brigadier Marcelo Kanitz Damasceno hopes that Sweden will acquire the C-390 Millennium airlifter, from Embraer, in return

The Brazilian Air Force (FAB) is working on the acquisition of a second batch of Saab Gripen fighters as a current contractual addendum, of up to 25%, said the Air Force Commander, Air Lieutenant Brigadier Marcelo Kanitz Damasceno to the Brazilian newspaper O Globo.

The percentage is equivalent to nine more fighters since the original order comprised 36 aircraft. Therefore, the FAB would have 45 Gripen E and F, designated in the country as F-39.

Brigadier Damasceno once again stated that he believes in the purchase of C-390 Milllennium transport aircraft by the Swedish Air Force, which is looking for a replacement for its C-130 Hercules.

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Asked if the Embraer military freighter would be a bargaining chip, the commander said he thought Sweden needed such an aircraft.

“Several countries have already purchased the plane, mainly from NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), which puts our plane in an important showcase,” he explained.

Swedish Air Force C-130 Hercules
Swedish Air Force C-130H (Adrian Pingstone)

New presidential aircraft under study

Sweden initially planned to acquire some second-hand C-130Js by the beginning of 2023, but suspended the plan at the time negotiations with the Brazilian government would have begun.

The head of the service also considered the acquisition of another aircraft, but without elaborating on the matter. Saab, manufacturer of the Gripen, also has in its portfolio an aerial early warning solution, GlobalEye, which is an evolution of the technology used in Brazilian E/R-99s.

Finally, Damasceno Kanitz confirmed that studies are underway to acquire a new presidential aircraft. It is understood that the Air Force is seeking a third Airbus A330-200, possibly already in a VIP configuration.

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