The Gripen E fighter program will have a busy 2022. Saab is preparing to handle the first deliveries of series production aircraft to its two customers, Sweden and Brazil.
According to the company, there are currently nine jets flying, a number that will be expanded by the end of this year. 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 Swedish Air Force will also receive the first Gripen E next year. The country has ordered 60 fighters in all, which will equip three wings in the future. They will coexist with around 40 Gripen A and D (two-seater) jets that will be kept operational, out of 97 aircraft in the fleet.
Saab also revealed that around 30 fighters are already at some stage of assembly, which represents a third of the backlog. The two-seat Gripen F variant is still being developed and will have an assembly line in Brazil.
Now the Swedish company tries to add new customers to its fighter. The main bet is Finland, which must decide which aircraft will replace the F/A-18 Hornets that have been in service since the 1990s.
Saab competes with Dassault, Eurofighter, Boeing and Lockheed Martin. In its package, the manufacturer offers 64 Gripen E/F fighters and two GlobalEye Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) aircraft. In addition, there is the possibility of final assembly of aircraft components in Finland.