Saab announced on Tuesday the start of production of components of the Gripen E/F fighter at its new unit in Brazil. Inaugurated in 2018, Saab Aeronáutuca Montagens will be responsible for producing parts such as the tail cone and front fuselage of the single-seat version of the Gripen fighter and also aerodynamic brakes, rear fuselage, wing box and front fuselage for the two-seater version.
This is Saab’s first unit outside Sweden since the company was founded in 1937. The fighter parts will be shipped to Linköping and Gavião Peixoto,where the Swedish company has a partnership with Embraer.
Saab was the winner of the competition to supply the Brazilian Air Force with a new generation fighter in 2014. The F-X2 program went through a complicated selection process that indicated Gripen as the best option. The FAB will receive 36 units, 28 in one seat and eight in two seats.
Of this total, 15 aircraft will be assembled in Brazil as part of a technology transfer agreement with Saab. The first Gripen E fighter flew for the first time in August 2019 and should be sent to Brazil to continue flight tests in October.
The Brazilian Air Force is expected to receive the first operational aircraft in 2021 and complete delivery in 2026. The Swedish fighters will equip the 1st Air Defense Group, at the Anápolis airbase, close to the country’s capital, Brasília. The squadron operated with Mirage III and Mirage 2000 until 2013.
“This is another outcome of the Transfer of Technology (ToT) of the Gripen program. Based on theoretical and practical on-the-job training of Brazilian engineers and assemblers at Saab in Linköping, we were able to establish a highly qualified production line at SAM, following the same standards that we have in our factory in Sweden, ”says Jonas Hjelm, head of Saab’s business area Aeronautics.