First Saab Gripen fighters of the Brazilian Air Force will be inducted on December 19

Ceremony may be the farewell act of the current Air Force Commander, Lieutenant Brigadier Baptista Junior

On December 19, the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) will hold a ceremony at Anápolis Air Force Base to mark the induction of the first four Saab F-39 Gripen E fighters, according to Airway.

The event may be a farewell act for the current Commander of the Air Force, Lieutenant Brigadier Carlos Baptista Junior, who will hand over the position to his colleague Lieutenant Brigadier Marcelo Kanitz Damasceno, current Chief of Staff of the Air Force (EMAER), chosen according to criteria of seniority by the new president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

Series production aircraft registrations 4101, 4102, 4103 and 4104 arrived in the country in April and September from Sweden by ship. After being reconfigured for flight, the supersonic jets took off towards Gavião Peixoto unit, where Embraer and Saab are making the last adjustments before joining the FAB.

At the beginning of the month, the Gripen 4103 and 4104 landed for the first time in Anápolis, the air base where the 1st Air Defense Group (1st GDA) is located, which will be the first to operate the Swedish fighter.

The first serial production F-39E Gripen was delivered in April (Saab)

FX-2 competition winner nine years ago

The incorporation of the first four F-39 Gripen marks the operational debut of the new fighter after a long period since the signing of the contract in October 2014.

But the FX-2 program had been around for a long time, even in its first version, launched in the early 2000s as F-X and which was cancelled.

The FAB then launched the FX-2 in 2006, with the participation of several competitors such as the Boeing F-18, Dassault Rafale, Saab Gripen NG and Sukhoi Su-35, but which soon was discarded.

In December 2013, Gripen was announced as the winner of the competition, with Embraer participating in the project. A total of 36 aircraft were ordered for $4.5 billion, 28 of which were the single-seat Gripen E version and eight of the two-seat Gripen F, which would be assembled in Brazil.

The Gripen and KC-390: Current Commander of the Brazilian Air Force focused on the fighter while cutting orders for the Embraer airlifter (FAB)

Focus of the current commander

Upon assuming the position of Air Force Commander at the beginning of last year, Brigadier Baptista Junior did not take long to demonstrate his intention to expand the Gripen order with Saab.

Despite reporting budget restrictions, Baptista Junior closed an amendment to the contract to increase the order to 40 aircraft and modify the national manufacturing project, prioritizing the one-seat version.

The current head of the Air Force was also negotiating a second batch of 26 fighter jets, but the new agreement was never announced during his management.

With the delivery of the fighters, Brazil will once again have an interceptor aircraft after almost 10 years, when the 12 second-hand Dassault Mirage 2000s were retired.

Brazilian Air Force Mirage 2000 (FAB)
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