Saab completes the training of Brazilian Air Force pilots to fly the Gripen fighter

Swedish Air Force training center formed the last group of Brazilian pilots responsible for deploying the F-39 Gripen in the 1st Air Defense Group

The last class of Brazilian Air Force (FAB) pilots sent to Sweden to learn to fly the new F-39E Gripen fighter completed training in June, said Saab, the aircraft’s manufacturer.

The Brazilian aviators participated in the Delta Conversion Training, a course given by members of the Phoenix Squadron of the Swedish Air Force at the Gripen Centre, in Såtenäs, Sweden.

The final class included four pilots from the 1st Air Defense Group (1st GDA), the squadron responsible for deploying the F-39E in Brazil.

The course to fly the Gripen is done in two stages. The first of them, Conversion Training, lasts 11 weeks and has 50 flights per pilot, covering the basic operation of the plane both in solo missions and in training during the day and night.

In the second phase, called Combat Readiness Training, the aviators participate in 25 flights in about nine weeks, a period in which the military learns to master the fighter’s combat capabilities and weapons.

The Gripen Centre at F 7 Wing has already received 17 FAB pilots (Saab)

“The Brazilian pilots are highly trained and come here with extensive operational experience, both from the F-5M and AMX units. They quickly learned about the operation, configuration, and flying of Gripen,” said Major Richard Carlqvist, commander of Phoenix Squadron.

Although the new FAB fighter is the Gripen in the E version, the Brazilian pilots were trained in Sweden flying in the C and D variants, with one and two seats in order.

“After being adapted to Gripen C/D in Sweden, our pilots will undergo their conversion to Gripen E entirely in Brazil, using the resources already available at the 1st GDA, mainly through the planning stations and flight simulators”, explained the Lieutenant Colonel Aviator Gustavo de Oliveira Pascotto, commander of the 1st GDA.

The course to fly the Gripen E is held at the headquarters of the 1st GDA, at the Anápolis Air Base (GO), by Swedish pilots in the role of flight instructors who were sent to Brazil.

Brazilian Air Force F-39 Gripen (Saab)

17 pilots trained in Sweden

The training of Brazilian pilots to fly the Gripen began years before the first aircraft arrived in Brazil. In all, 17 FAB aviators underwent training in Sweden.

The current commander of the 1st GDA, Lieutenant Colonel Aviator Gustavo Pascotto, and Lieutenant Colonel Aviator Ramon Lincoln Santos Fórneas were the first FAB pilots to take the course in the Gripen C/D, in 2014.

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Then, three test pilots from the Air Force Research and Flight Testing Institute underwent training, including Lieutenant Colonel Cristiano de Oliveira, who was the first Brazilian to fly the Gripen E.

The course ended with the training of three groups of four operational pilots each – who are the pilots who fly the fighters on missions.


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